We helped paint the interior of what will soon (fingers crossed) be our house. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to be a bit superstitious when it comes to making announcements about things.) It occurred to me later that my time spent there today was, emotionally, a much milder version of the experience I had when my firstborn was a premature infant in the NICU:
- The dear one that supposedly was “mine” was under the total control of someone else who was calling all the shots
- This someone else was doing all kinds of things to my dear one that were completely beyond my expertise and I could only observe helplessly
- This someone else knew my dear one better than I did
- This someone else directed my interactions with my dear one and evaluated me on my abilities
- I felt emotionally distant, like I wanted to be in love and coo and snuggle with my dear one, but the someone else was standing there watching
I realize that I sound like an ungrateful wretch, making the someone else sound like some kind of tyrannical monster. The Habitat construction folks we worked with, as well as the staff at the NICU where my daughter was cared for, are all very kind and warm individuals. But this is all just my knee-jerk emotional response, so it’s not going to be reasonable or appreciative. It is going to be, by nature of being an emotional response, drama-queen and over-the-top.