No, it’s not the biblical apocalypse. But it does feel like the end of an era, or at the very least like this particular phase of my life is drawing irrevocably to a close.
It’s late on the afternoon on Boxing Day as I write this. My parents and brother are driving home after spending Christmas with us, having been waved off by an almost tearful Isaac saying “see you soon” hopefully. More relevantly, I’m now looking at an empty dining room, which has been cleared in preparation to accommodate a birthing pool.
That means the next time we eat at the dining table (now residing in the garage) we will, hopefully, be a four-person household, not a three.
The combination of that thought and the sight of the currently empty room have suddenly made the whole impending birth thing very, very real. At least in my head, a line has been crossed from which there is no going back.
Of course, we have always known this time would come. Heather is due on January 17th, a date which has been seared into our minds for several months now. And it’s not as if we haven’t started making preparations. But you have to understand that for so long that date has been a barely visible blip on our personal horizons, and as time has marched on we have had the not inconsiderable dual distractions of Zac’s birthday (December 6th) and Christmas to attend to.
No longer. Now there are no other events to plan. The timeframe is measurable in days rather than weeks, and final arrangements are a matter of real and increasing urgency rather than abstract items on a to do list.
It may still be as much as a month away – or it may be mere hours – but a time will soon come when our lives are transformed and made, at the same time, both more complex and more wonderful.
I have never felt so unprepared.