I had every intention of doing up a longer, reflective piece here, about lessons learned at the roller derby this past week. But that will have to wait, because kid #2 is faking us out right now. Dropped, in ready position, head-bunting the exit. About a month early. All nesting plans that were in the “within the next few weeks” timeframe are being hastily shoved into the “within the next few days” timeframe. Gramma, who will be attending the birth, got a working cell phone and has it taped to her person. And I panic whenever I see the beloved stop, prop herself against the wall with one hand and cradle her belly with the other.
“I’m just tired. Don’t worry honey, believe me, I’ll tell you when it’s ‘the bus.'”
See, my friend Barbara long ago provided the longed-for arrival of the bus as the all-time best analogy for knowing whether you’re “in love.” It works for a number of other comparably momentious occasions. Here’s the story: you know when you’re waiting at a bus stop, waiting waiting? And you keep peering down the street where the bus should be coming from? And every blurry image way down there, somewhere about the height of a bus fakes you out?
You want badly for it to be the bus, and you often trick yourself into thinking it’s really the bus. But inside your heart of hearts, you know it’s not. The blur eventually becomes clear and you see all along it was a truck with lights along the top, or some such.
The funny thing about the bus, when it actually comes, is that the second you clap eyes on it you know that it’s the bus.
So my friend Barbara says, that’s how “in love” is. When it’s not really love, you will want it to be love, try to wish it into existence. But inevitably it will become clear it’s not. Real love, on the other hand, true love, is the bus. You know it — BAM! — the moment it appears, even in the faraway distance. Of course as a sentimental type this appeals to me.
I do believe this kid’s immanent arrival will be ‘the bus.’ I even figure it’s likely we’ll get at least several blocks’ warning. But why not panic? Because if not now, when? When it’s actually the bus there’ll be no time to panic. We’ll be lucky to be able to grab our bags, clamber on board, and prepare for the ride. Wherever it takes us.