The Babies are Coming! The Babies are Coming!

All my friends are having babies.

Indefinite birthdays on the calendar may be closer than they appear. In less than a week, we will have at least one more baby in the family out of the womb. Possibly two. (There is a three-week difference in the due dates, but the gap seems to be closing.)

We wait expectantly for the phone to ring. We are not essential in the grand scheme of things, but still we make our plans loosely, because we want to meet the little ones ASAP.

The nearness of the deliveries is still unreal to me. I feel somewhat removed from it all. Removed. The wee ones will be my first-cousins-once-removed. I am already a first-cousin-once-removed multiple times over, triangulating off of various great-grandparents. I suspect that I've never met most of my first-cousins-once-removed. This will be the first time I represent the older generation of the cousin pair, but still, there is no ontological change for me. It is not quite like becoming an aunt, or a grandmother, or a great-grandfather.

But the babies are real, and they will be here very soon. Next thing you know, I'll be exclaiming over how fast they're growing. Right now, time feels a little warped, even for this removed observer (how much more for the expectant parents?). Just yesterday, it seems, but really five months ago, I was explaining my decision to move to California partly in terms of my two cousins having babies in May. Now it is May. Now my cousins are having babies.

Nine months. The blink of an eye.

We've been observing how fast the little birds in the back yard fly, and wonder how they keep control at such speeds. We hypothesize that their nervous systems are in sync with their metabolism, so that what seems so fast to us is simply normal for them. Their whole experience of time, such as they experience time at all, must be very different from ours, trying to remember whether this old hoe came from the ranch in Santa Ana 62 years ago or was bought here in Oxnard 61 years ago.

It's all relative...


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