The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...
Friday, February 20, 2009
Dear friends, I know it's been a while, but I can explain: I've gotten fat.
You know the the old saying about husbands having "sympathetic pregnancies"... gaining weight along with their wives? I used to think it was a funny image until it actually happened to me about a month ago.
Those of you who've met me know that I'm a pretty small-framed guy, so when I recently put on about ten pounds around my midsection, it showed. Imagine a small, round watermelon cut in half and duct taped to my belly, and you're getting the picture. I suppose a number of factors contributed: my ailing thyroid (now hopefully under better control thanks to better living through chemistry), working from home, my wife's newfound lack of energy (which I'm more than happy to oblige with my own lack of activity), and our now-standard 5:30 PM nap time were each probably to blame in their own way. I was also starting to have trouble sleeping, regardless of whatever sleep-enhancing pill I popped and despite each previous night's lack of rest.
For our regular readers who are sitting there muttering to yourselves, "good... he could stand to gain a few pounds anyway," let me just say this: I agree. However, I'd prefer the weight be spread out a bit more evenly, so I don't look like a lowercase letter "b" from the waist up when I put on a medium-sized t-shirt.
* By the way... a tip for those men out there whose partners are pregnant or may soon become pregnant: do NOT, under any circumstances, mention this sympathetic weight gain, should you experience it, to your lady. At best, you will get a playful "shut up" (repeated on a sliding scale of decreasing playfulness and with greater annoyance each time you mention it). At worst, you'll probably get punched. This has been your free advice for the week. *
So, anyway, tangential rambling aside (there's a story here, I promise I'm getting to it) Wednesday after work, I decided to start doing something about my unwelcome abdominal visitor. I plugged our hibernating treadmill back into the wall and took it for a somewhat vigorous 30 minute walk. I continued the trend yesterday and today. While I've obviously not noticed any physical results, two things have occurred:
1. I've slept extremely well the past two nights.
2. 5:30 PM nap time has now become more like 6:30 PM nap time.
So today, we're laying down for 6:30 PM nap time and I'm too pumped up to sleep, workout-induced endorphins still coursing through my system. At some point, Kathy says "Oh!" in that excited little way that she does immediately after the baby has just moved or kicked inside her. She has been feeling this for a few weeks now, occasionally even feeling our little girl kick from the outside when she places her hand on her abdomen, but I've been unable to duplicate her results when I place my own hand there. And then Kathy's saying "Oh!" again, a little louder and with a bigger smile on her face. "That was a big one!" she grins, "you might even be able to feel her".
So I place my hand on her lower belly and almost immediately -- bump -- there is this tiny little feeling, timid but at the same time forceful, against my palm. I gasp out loud. As if in response, there's another, slightly softer kick and then another little flutter of movement before things settle down again.
There are moments in your life that you never forget. I'll never forget the first time I smelled the ocean, the first time I met my wife, or the way it felt when the chemotherapy drugs finally left my system for the last time.
And I swear to God I will never forget the feeling of my baby girl gently kicking the palm of my hand as long as I live.