17 July 2010

Or so I imagine

So much to say, no time to say it!

Whenever non-parents try to visualise what life might be like with a child, I have to try very hard not to bite my fists and scream into them.

Bruce once told me about a dream he had a very long time ago - a nightmare, wherein he was in hell, on a kind of circular conveyor belt, and studded throughout the belt were knee-high razor blades. He had to jump over the razors as the conveyor belt rotated, because if he didn't, well... Anyway, the belt never stopped rotating, the razors never stopped coming, and that is a fairly good analogy for what it feels like to bring up a baby, obviously with some very nice moments thrown in.

It could be another two or three years before the conveyor belt finally slows down enough for me to catch my breath. I don't imagine it will ever stop, and even if it's going at the pace of a tortoise, you can't ever let your guard down entirely. On your quietest day, with your child somewhere very far away, perhaps in university, you will put down your book and wonder why you haven't heard from him in a while.

Your feet will propel the conveyor belt of their own volition as you make your way to the telephone, and even though you'll look very still as you pick up the receiver, dial the number and wait for someone to pick up at the other end, you are in actual fact calmly, expertly jumping for your life.

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