Posted by: Louise | November 29, 2010


Tomorrow Astro Boy and I go on a journey.

Here in Ireland we are having freak winter weather. Right where I live it is just cold, really, really, sub-zero cold. Everywhere else in Ireland it is snow covered. And we are going on a journey.

My brother works in television. An age ago we told him if he ever needed a little boy for anything, call us. The Astro Boy is a born actor. To date Astro Boy has only acted at home, in the back seat of the car, in the classroom at school. We haven’t even sent him to classes. But the other day my brother rang. Bring him up. We’ll give him a chance.

Astro Boy is SO excited.

I am a bundle of nerves.

There is something about timing in our lives. Everything happening together. Too much happening to us. Caught in the radar of chance and improbability. It is a busy week. The beginning of the Christmas activities – the kids’ school annual winter fair (requiring much parental involvement on the crafting front) is on Sunday. I am working on Sunday. The choir the kids sing in has its annual carol service on Sunday night. That’s enough extra really, what with all the usual stuff.

But that’s not all. My friend is expecting twins. They are going to induce her on Thursday, if she hasn’t gone into labour before then, and I am to be her birth partner. I wrote about her here. She is pretty much all I am thinking about at the moment. She is in hospital, being very well looked after (an excellent thing now that the country has frozen over) but she is still all I am thinking about.

There is so much love and loss and hope and expectation in these babies’ story, and yet for all the weight that surrounds them – an all too physical weight for my friend right now – they still have to be birthed. And I mean birthed in its most physical, earthy, grounding, painful, this-is-as-real-as-it-gets sense. I am to be with her for this journey, holding her hand. We are going to travel together. I have a pretty good idea of where this journey will lead her. I have no idea where it will lead me.

And Astro Boy and I are going on a journey.

Tomorrow he and I will get up at the crack of dawn, inch our way along the ice covered paths to the train station and head to our capital city. My brother has arranged for a taxi to meet us and bring us to the TV station. Then Astro Boy gets to do his stuff. I don’t even know what his stuff is. I know what he will be asked to do. My parental responsibilities are being taken seriously. But I don’t know how Astro Boy will be. Will he freeze – in more ways than one? Will K and I discover that he can’t act after all and we were just doting parents all along? And how bad if we are, but going half way across the country, in the snow, to the national television station to find it out is a bit of a trek.

Then what if the snow fall strands the train in Dublin and my friend goes into labour?

I know what it is. It is the fear that everything will go wrong, because it has before, and not just once. I have spent a lifetime of being afraid to look forward to things. I wanted a sister – more than anything – and she died. That’s when it started. I’m pretty clear about that – now – as an adult.

Then there is that whole big mucky patch of things going wrong-ness before I got pregnant with Laura. And then there is Laura – and I dared to hope. And…..

So here I am with two of the most exciting journeys that I can conceive for my life right now going to happen this week, two days apart, and I have to hope that everything will go alright.

And it is terrifying.

I really need go and buy those train tickets now.


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