Dodging a red, mangy-furred bullet

Posted by jdg | Friday, February 08, 2008 |

Right now my wife and kid are sitting in the Fox Theater, watching Sesame Street Live without me. While I actually had a reasonably tolerable experience last year speculating about the actors' backstage sex lives, this year I thought it would be nice to give the two of them some mother-daughter time before Wood has a y-chromosomed suckling attached to her twelve hours a day. And frankly, when it comes to Sesame Street Live, once is enough to get the whole idea.

The snow keeps piling on top of itself here. The other night I took the dog for a walk and by the time we got back to our front porch I couldn't see the footprints from when we'd left. My mother is across the state, staring at various weather reports, anxious about rushing to Detroit in a snowstorm to mind Juniper while Wood labors. When she herself went into labor for the first time thirty-one years ago this week, my dad had to take her to the main road on a snowmobile where an ambulance waited to take her to the hospital. Hours later into that snowstorm, I was born. It was her birthday.

Wood had been certain this baby would be born a little early. All her friends that have given birth in the last few months have done so weeks or even a month early. We watched the full moon wane without incident. "Juniper was born on her due date," I remind her. But she's convinced from reading and excessive googling that second babies come earlier. "He'll come when he's ready," I say, but this does nothing to calm her. I know part of the stress comes from having taken a week of maternity leave before he's born, knowing that she'll have to return a week earlier when he's so small and still needing her.

I still haven't packed my hospital bag, charged up the camcorder battery, or cleared my SD cards of 6 gigs worth of boarded-up art deco theaters, graffiti, and old highway signs. And yet I feel a mounting pressure, too. I'd better pack that bag. And I do have a feeling I'll soon have something more momentous to photograph than packs of wild dogs and half-burnt houses.