Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love the baby....

I threw away the swimming pool where Andrew was born. The inflatable plastic kiddie pool with ridiculous cartoon fish. It was in the garden shed and it was moldy and it needed to die. I've saved it for 3 years, blew it up again in case we used it for Simone's birth, and loved it tenderly (albeit from afar, due to aforementioned mold).

Its goofy fish motif was such a strange backdrop to the spiritual wonder of childbirth. I remember looking at the inflated smiling fish in between contractions thinking, "Seriously? *This* is where my child will be born?"

And now that I know Andrew...and know us together...how perfectly suited for his first day of life. He's quirky and colorful and ridiculous and beautiful. And soft and gentle and warm, like the water and the cushions.

It was so incredible being in the water. How much it softened all the lines of the pain of childbirth. I'd stand up from the water and be smacked sideways by the pain. How the water took that away, I don't really understand. But it did. I labored in this fuzzy warm glow, and I owe much of it to those stinkin' fish.

But time marches on and fish (both actual and inflated) rot. And it was time to purge the pool.

I confessed to Steve my sadness about losing the pool and his sage wisdom was: "Love the baby, not the swimming pool."

So I did. I stabbed the inflated pillowy plastic with a scissors and watched it die, like a pig sacrificed. I felt a bit emotional. Didn't cry or anything (I mean...puh-leaze...it's not like it was Christmas lights). Just felt this twisting in my stomach as I said good-bye.

Then I heaved it into the trash can.

This morning was trash day. I went out to grab something from the van, and saw the trash can lying empty and sideways on the street. I was struck by the finality. It was actually gone.

How strange.

I realized that I should have maybe saved a scrap of it. A nice clean non-rotty piece. With a particularly gleeful looking smiling fish. Put it into his baby box.

Why I didn't think of this earlier in the week, I have no idea.


Love the baby, not the swimming pool. Love the baby, not the swimming pool. Love the baby, not the swimming pool.

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