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Staying in the Moment

(You can listen to this piece on S3E9 of the podcast)

Their baby arrived to a stormy pre-dawn morning. Not that stormy pre-dawn mornings signaled some auspicious occasion in Topeka, Kansas. Unless you were Dorthy and Todo. Those two might flag the possibilities of such a meteorological phenomenon. But Katrina and Caleb were less impacted by the swirling outside the hospital windows than the swirling inside their own minds.

The wails of their 7-pounder quickly muffled after a few seconds on Katrina’s bare chest. Caleb received the petal scissors with a trembling left hand—would their infant be left-handed, too? He cut the cord under the supervision of a kindly nurse who steadied his shaking body with a strong palm to the middle back.

Then the first question came. Would the circumcise him? Who? Caleb wondered. Surely not him, but then he remembered that they’d had a baby boy. Caleb sidled up to his wife, trying to catch her eye—hadn’t they talked about this? But now he couldn’t remember what they’d decided. Yes, Caleb confirmed after a beat.

And who would be their baby’s pediatrician? That was the next question, and again, Caleb looked to Katrina who was staring at their baby.

And what would they name their son? And the car seat? Had they installed their car seat? Caleb swallowed the lump in his throat. The kindly nurse had been replaced by a business-like lady with a clipboard. Caleb blinked mutely. His thoughts swirled like the weather outside. He had all the answers, certainly he did, but the overwhelming tide of emotion he felt jumbled his thoughts like scrambled eggs.

“We did it,” Katrina whispered.

And this refocusing on the present moment centered him. He stared at his son. His wife. His beautiful little family. And the noise and nervousness and need for coherent thought dissipated. He had needed this shift to block out the world. To be in this yellow brick road to Oz. Before the big reveal. Cherish the exceptional veneer of perfection in this moment, in this dreamlike state, before they were forced back into reality.



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