I got a voicemail the other day that I have yet to return from a seminary friend. During this voicemail, he mentioned how much he'd miss me during Eden Seminary's annual Herbster alumni gathering. I hadn't thought about it in a couple weeks until he brought it up, which bummed me out. Herbster is today. I'm not there. The reason is simple and perhaps obvious: with my luck, I'll pull into the seminary parking lot, my cellphone will ring, and it will be Coffeewife saying, "My water broke." Yeah, that's not going to work.
So here I sit, thinking about St. Louis and how that first view of the arch would have evoked a certain feeling of homecoming. I sit thinking about all my buddies whom I won't see. I sit thinking about places like Kaldi's and Racanelli's and Vintage Vinyl. I sit thinking about professors I'll miss joking around with and former churches that I served as a student and Central Reform Synagogue and Forest Park Hospital and the St. Louis Zoo and the Muny and Ted Drewe's and our freaking awesome apartment after we moved out of our on-campus Eden apartment.
I think about all that, and I'm bummed.
But I'm also excited. Today is Opening Day. The Tigers with their potential 1000+ run lineup (and their questionable bullpen) kick off the season against the Royals. Meanwhile, the Indians start against the White Sox in about a half hour or so. I thought about wearing my Verlander jersey around today, but it'd just get covered in cat hair and I don't want to deal with that. At any rate, this should be another back-and-forth kind of year for the AL Central. Maybe we'll finally see a Yankee-less postseason.
We had our latest baby doctor appointment this morning, which brought to light the information that Coffeewife is a centimeter dilated and 25% effaced. We're both convinced that he's coming early. He's been measuring ahead, which could just mean that he'll be big, but it could just mean that he'll be early. I told Coffeewife today that my latest source for anxiety comes not from changing diapers or midnight feedings or what of our worldly possessions he'll eventually break, but from that whirlwind moment when labor begins: loading everything into the car, the trip to the hospital, the birth itself, and the suddenness of it all. I've been thinking a lot about the frantic nature of that moment, the upheaval and readjustment and quick response that it will involve, and I just hope I'm ready enough.
Of course, the only reference point that I have for this worry is the moment my brother decided that he was ready to enter the world. I was six and didn't know what was going on. Most of that is a blur to me now, but I remember a lot of quick movement. Now I know that at least once we get to the hospital, it'll probably be something more like what I've seen on "A Baby Story" where every couple has their little handheld camera in the car, and Mommy's all peaceful: "Yep. We're on our way to the hospital. It won't be long now." And then they get there and play checkers on the bed for a couple hours. It's that first few moments of gearing up for the whole process that I think I'm anxious about.
"The first can come at any time." Shut up.