It’s a funny thing parenthood. In life it’s often only in retrospect that you identify the moments that made the biggest difference to your story. You look back and realise that when you took that particular new job you’d stepped out towards a completely different future. You start dating someone not knowing how it will turn out and mostly it doesn’t go anywhere and then suddenly someone is your life partner and that first meeting becomes a moment of myth and legend forever more.
Having a child isn’t like that, it’s a giant flashing sign on your timeline that life will never be the same. You get a nine months warning notice, which is good, because there’s lots to do, (including moving back to Australia in our case) and there’s a spotlight on you as your two families become greater stakeholder in your decisions than they have for many years. Not only do you know that your life is about to change forever but everyone else knows it as well.
And after these nine months of anticipation there’s now a new life in our house, one that demands near-constant attention and who has become the center of our existence. Even with all the warning it feels sudden in the end. One day is, for me at least, relatively normal. I go to work and try to focus on all the projects I’m trying (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to complete before the baby arrives. The next day we’re at the hospital and everything is visceral and immediate and completely immersive and the moment after that, relatively, there’s this being in my arms which has come from K and I and which requires our constant devotion to keep alive and which we love beyond reason. It’s magical and surreal.
16 days in and it’s been an amazing journey already. The arrival of our child seems to have deepened the love between K and I, increased our understanding, our patience, our ability to lean on each other and create the future together. We joke about the baby being the “boss” and it’s true, he really dictates the rhythms and possibilities of our day at the moment, although hopefully a routine can be wrestled into being eventually. I’m enjoying the challenge of getting things done in the snatches of uninterrupted time I have, although it’s been hard and I need to increase my output to finish an on-hold client project and continue to push StartSomeGood forward.
Making a final decision on a name was interesting. We had it sorted if it was a girl – we were going to call her Sierra after the mountain range which runs through California, where they were conceived – but we were stuck on a top four names for a boy. We narrowed to two almost immediately and then spent 24 hours letting it sit with us, before settling on Bodhi Nevada, using two of our finalists in the end, maintaining the shout-out to California (and the state of Nevada itself, which has been a spiritual home for K and I) in the middle name.
It’s funny though, when we first talked about names I said I only had two rules: it can’t be unisex and it has to be phonetic. And somehow typically the final choice violates both these requirements. And yet in the end it felt like exactly the right choice. Just as Siddhartha sat beneath the Bodhi tree and became enlightened as the Buddha, so too does Bodhi increasingly seem to us to be the entity K and I will sit beside and find our own version of enlightenment. Bodhi will be the clock which measures our life: our understanding of time will be marked by Bodhi and the milestones in his life. As someone who has never been much of a planner it’s slightly strange to be pulled into the long-term like this, but it doesn’t mean that anything is pre-determined or limited, just that our experience is widened to include another, and through him we will see and understand the world anew.
Exciting and transformational times.
Now if we could only get more sleep... ;)
PS. What's that you say? You want ANOTHER PHOTO? Oh very well, if you insist: