About the Author
James Barron, a private art dealer, writes for publications as diverse as Glamour, The Paris Review,
and Garden Design.
He, his wife, and their two children live in New York City and Connecticut.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER
1. She's going to have a baby -- Congratulations!
But along with all those knowing winks and slaps on the back comes the realization that you're going to have a baby, too. Isn't that just great --Well, isn't it --?
2.If this is all so great, why do you feel as if you're about to have a breakdown.
Your wife hugged you to her chest and whispered warmly into your ear, You've just made me the happiest woman alive. Okay, maybe she didn't ex-actly do that, but you read the message in her eyes. You reveled in it, felt yourself swelling like a hot-air balloon-but you felt a distinct tugging, too, as if you were being held down, tethered to sandbags.
Sure, the first golden moments after finding out are greeting card-ish. All the things you ever thought would make her happy -- the ultimate tumble in the sack, a diamond ring, a home with a yard-are nothing compared to this. She's ecstatic, out of her mind. And you already feel queasy. Why? Because you feel responsibility looming above you like some ominous storm cloud. You can hear crashing thunder; she can't. You see lightning; she doesn't. You're taking the keys out of your pockets so you don't get electrocuted; she's not. You find the difference in your re-actions very disconcerting.
Your best remedy here is simple: learn from your wife. Don't look too far ahead or you won't appreciate the moment. Sure, take measures. Start saving (now!) if you're already worried about college tuition. But don't get so caught up in planning and plotting that you can't see the great beauty you've helped to create. Nobody can take that away from you. In other words, cut the strings, toss out the ballast, and soar.
More good news: you won't have a breakdown during pregnancy. Sometimes you'll think you're having one-but you won't be. (Then, dur-ing the first six weeks after your baby's born, you'll swear you're having a breakdown-but again, you won't.
Copyright ) 1998 by James Douglas Barron