I have committed to making 2 blog posts this month, or I owe Brennan Cameron and Jessica Heine a beer. I doubt they like drinking Lucky Lager, so best for all of us if I follow through. Somewhere along the way I've gone from not feeling like I had anything of substance to write about to not knowing where to begin. I think I'll start somewhere in the middle, and fill in the blanks. Should be easy, now that this is a biweekly blog.
In the before time
As soon as I found out Michelle was pregnant I started planning all of the super cool things I'd do with my baby. My buddy Cam lives about 6 blocks away. My plan was to take my new-born child to Cam's in the baby carrier and watch every oilers game. Cam and I would drink beer and enjoy the game while Cecilia slept and made cute baby sounds. Michelle could relax and enjoy her break. Impediments included:
- Cecilia eats on her own constantly changing schedule, and my milk has yet to come in.
- Cecilia HATED the carrier for about the first 3months.
- December was "colder than a witch's tit", to borrow an expression from my mom. (Mom's don't read the internet, right?)
It was an uncharacteristically warm night in January, maybe 7 or 8 degrees. I decided the time was right for my first solo walk with Cecilia, who by this point loved her carrier. I strapped her in, covered her as much as I could with my jacket and headed out the door. The next 20 minutes were terrifying.
All of the small dangers I face on a normal walk were magnified. What if I fell on the ice? What if that dog attacked me? If I got lost and Cecilia had a meltdown what would I do?
In the winter, it can sometimes be hard for me to tell where unshoveled sidewalk ends and road begins. From time to time I mess up a street crossing and end up walking on the road for a ways, until I clue in that there are too many cars parked on the giant sidewalk. I feel embarrassed about this if there are people around, but it happens mostly on quiet streets, and is easily rectifiable.
With a baby strapped to my chest this whole thing seemed a bit less trivial. I was worried about being hit by a car (maybe one of those super quiet hybrids, designed to reduce CO2 emissions and blind peoples' life expectancies.) Realistically I was fine. I've walked the streets a thousand times, sometimes after having a thousand beers, and never been hurt. Still, not the relaxing walk I was hoping for.
What if I get lost? What will people think if they see me walking around? Will it be, "Awesome! That blind guy has a baby with him," or "That guy should not be alone with a baby. Where is his aide worker?"
I think all parents worry a bit about being judged by strangers. I do think things are magnified for me a bit, as being blind tends to attract peoples' attention. I'm pretty good at not worrying about what people think, but it'll be interesting to see how things progress. How will other parents react at a playground on the day when Cecilia inevitably decides she can hide from Dad when he says it's time to go home? How will I react?
The Big Picture
Nervous walking adventure aside, things are fantastic. I'll write more about the baby cuddling, cute babbling, and drool wiping in the coming weeks. There have been a few walks since, and each one gets easier. Time for rollerblades?