I’ve reorganized the nursery closet three times already in the last two months. This afternoon, I transferred the clothes from the right end back to the left end. I think it is better to keep the baby’s onesies, dresses, socks, and swaddle blankets on the left side of the closet and to reserve the right side for storing bulky items like play mats and play gyms and surplus boxes of diapers.
I am pleased with the garments I have carefully selected for the baby. Sassy iron-on phrases and glitter not being my style, I am delighted with the simple pants and billowy dresses hanging from the rod above the dresser. One particular favorite pair of pants that is white with pink hearts is in a newborn size, which is only about the length of one of my petite hands. It is hard to fathom our daughter’s bum and legs fitting into something so tiny, but it is precisely that reason that I swoon over these pants. I also adore the red patent Mary Janes that is a size 5 — I’m not sure at what age a baby or a toddler can fit into size 5 shoes, but they were on sale, and I had to buy them.
Suddenly my heart pounds in my ear and my chest hardens as I admire the modest wardrobe and the nook of the nursery that will eventually be transformed into a reading area. My heart pitter-patters as fear and worry begin to slink across my mind. I have to purposely practice mindfulness in order to steady my breathing. I know I am dispensing too much effort into organizing this space that is our unborn child’s. I have heard words of wisdom: a baby doesn’t need much, just love. I know. For a long time, I think, I have known this. My love for our baby is a given, though, a result of no effort.
It is my Achilles heel that I am able to envision my idea of perfection and to strive for it. Thus, it is in my nature to create a plan for execution so that the vision could unfold into reality. And that is why, I am almost certain, that my heart pounds and pitter-patters. I have learned that a good plan doesn’t guarantee a good outcome. As I picture the future, I sort the bags of muslin swaddles and organic kimono tops, I realign the picture frames, I patch holes and repaint the polka dots on the wall, and I tuck and pull the linen on the guest bed that is intended to complement the crib. I do all of this while fully aware that my dream of our baby occupying this space one day very soon could still not be realized.
The solid concrete on which my feet touched as a child is no longer in existence. Instead, I am walking on a tightrope. I wobble on it every day. The air below me is drafty. I feel that I ought to focus on my goal, but seeing the distance between there and here heightens my fear of falling. So, I will try not to look too far ahead. Rather, I will focus on the now, and I will allow myself the exhilaration and the elation that come from playing with our daughter’s apparel, like her soon-to-be-worn coming home outfit and her pink receiving blanket with a scalloped edge.