We spent this week in Arizona taking a somewhat spontaneous babymoon. This makes us sound way fancier than we actually are, believe me. I had photographed a friend’s wedding in Michigan this summer and in lieu of my standard fee, her mom gave us a stay through her vacation timeshare. That and paying for most of our airfare using our credit card points racked up through the wedding gave us a relatively inexpensive vacation less than six months after our honeymoon.
Since I was a kid, travel has always been a big part of my life. I’m not sure I can remember a year where my family didn’t travel somewhere by car or air, and as a result I’ve seen many of the major sights in the continental U.S. (Again, that makes us sound much fancier than we really are…my mom
was is a master of the frequent flyer and credit card reward system, and we’ve always stayed four to a room and frequently utilize the two meals per day system.)
On this trip, I came to the conclusion that my parents (maybe all parents when they become parents?) have a magical ability to turn off all physical discomfort sensors while traveling in order to pack as much into a trip as possible and also ensure the survival (if not always comfort and enjoyment) of their offspring. I, apparently, have yet to acquire this ability, and my lack of said ability is even more apparent now that I’m pregnant.
I’m not even showing that much but my hip and back hurt fairly reliably after hiking or sitting for long periods (I can’t win), I get winded walking up hills, and I have to eat every three hours or risk flopping on the ground in an abject pile of low blood sugar despair. Fortunately Science Guy was an Eagle Scout and has survival skills enough for both of us. He also learned early in our relationship to pack lots of snacks…sadly, the abject low blood sugar despair pile is not a state limited to pregnancy.
I couldn’t help thinking that this is likely our last relatively easy trip for quite some time. I’m only responsible for my own belongings and survival, not those of a pliable tiny human. In the future, I won’t be able to become an abject despair pile because the squishy human(s) will be depending on me (us…Science Guy…) for their survival. And I’m just a teensy bit intimidated by that thought.
I know plenty of people travel with tiny humans. Hometown Honey wrote a great blog post about flying with little ones and I’ve certainly seen all manner of baby-wearing, stroller-trundling, carseat-toting parents on this trip. (Lots of mental notes!) I know it can be done. I guess now that I’m past the halfway point of this pregnancy, it’s starting to sink in that it’s my turn to do all the things now.
I think I’m also mildly grieving the fact that this is probably the last trip Science Guy and I will take on our own together for awhile. We’ve been fortunate and taken three big trips together already in the two years we’ve been together, but I kind of thought we’d have more.
And there’s the rub. I realized that I’m still in the ongoing process of accepting that we’re going to be parents in about 4 months (WHAT). I’ve heard from everyone and their mother that there isn’t ever a “right” time to have a baby, and all things considered, the timing is actually pretty good. But we didn’t get to consciously decide, “OK, let’s go for it,” and I think that’s where my emotional struggle remains. I’m excited for the baby, but I’m also feeling forced to let go of the early marriage stage sooner than I’d anticipated.
As Maia Sharp sings, “I’m suddenly seeing that every beginning means something else is ending.” And there’s an acceptable and expected tinge of grief in that. But let me not forget about the beginning as well. That seems like an appropriate juxtaposition on Christmas Eve, which saw the “end” of God’s sole divinity but also the beginning of Christ’s humanity.
Here’s to endings and beginnings, and merry Christmas eve, everyone!