Ooof. There is such a thing as emotional multitasking when your attention is pulled in wildly different, significant directions. Not a rollercoaster, with highs and lows, but rapid shifts between different realities.
I realized this when I sat this morning for a full hour and a half, alone in a quiet house, with my brand-new grandson, and was flooded with such huge hit of love that it shook tears from my eyes. It’s not that I hadn’t felt the love before, but that I hadn’t yet laid myself open to this and nothing else.
No distractions, nobody else present, no phone or internet checking, no helpful errand-running or meal-planning, no Chicago Cubbies, no politics, no preparations and thoughts about my upcoming trip, just me and baby. Literal baby-sitting while my husband drove Rowan’s mama to a doctor’s appointment, baby sleeping and making little snirking noises on my chest.
He arrived 9 days ago. We got a peek at him on day one at the hospital then had to turn our attention elsewhere, to our daughter’s children, whom we’ve been tending; to my husband’s lingering cold; to returning home for a few days. I had last-minute preparations to do for an Africa trip. I leave tomorrow for Burkina Faso, where I will be meeting with some women church leaders about a literacy project. More on that in coming weeks. Politics. We dropped off our absentee ballots as we drove back to our son’s home to spend four days helping out with the new little boy before I fly out for two weeks.
It is miraculous that all of this is working out. He arrived fine and healthy 10 days before his due date, which means I get to spend time with the family of three before I leave, instead of waiting on pins and needles for news from afar, with uncertain e-connections. But still, I have been thinking of so many other things that the reality of him hadn’t quite soaked in till this morning.
The price of emotional multitasking is that nothing gets your full attention. Something else is always lurking at the back of your mind. I’ve also found it difficult to write in the past month or so. What is really on my mind when so many things are going on? Which shall I choose? Where shall I start?
This morning the choice was clear. I chose Rowan. And then came that flood of astounding, divine love. A bit of a delayed reaction, to be sure. But … whoa.
Mama is napping. Grandpa is holding Rowan while I finish this. A gurgling explosion means it’s time for a diaper change. This kind of interruption I can handle.