Have you seen my zen? It's gone. All gone. Nowhere to be found. I have misplaced my zen, lost it, likely.
Monkey's music teacher is a woman from the Old Country who we met at the playground the first week they moved here from out of state. We had them over, they had us over, blah, blah, blah. After Monkey turned four, she said that she had this interesting system for teaching little kids to read sheet music, and that she likes to start it with kids who are interested about six months before they would want to start playing piano. This way, she said, they are learning one thing at a time and there is less pain for them when they do start playing. Monkey was interested, so that September we started. We had a keyboard, and that was supposed to be enough for the first six months, while she learned her notes, intervals, rhythms, whatever.
By mid-September, when we started, I was in the early part of my second trimester with A. By early October, when the teacher called to say that she is very sorry, but Monkey is progressing much faster than she anticipated and we need to get a real piano, I was beginning to show. She gave us a couple of weeks to get a piano so that Monkey would have enough time with it to practice for her first recital in January, and I started to comb craigslist. Sometime in the next couple of weeks Monkey asked whether there was someone living in my belly, and JD went on an overseas business trip with a little time tacked on at the end to visit family and friends. And I was left to search out a piano with an understanding that he would be responsible for arranging its move after he got back.
I have never felt so unprepared and incompetent to accomplish something so important in my life. I do not play a musical instrument. I have learned to carry a tune, but it took me until well into my twenties. I do not so much read sheet music, as I can count off the notes from a reference point if I have enough time. I was armed with a list of things to look and listen for from a family friend who is a music teacher and a tuner in another city, but that didn't help tremendously much. It helped some, in that I was able to reject one piano that was clearly hopeless, but that was about it. In the end, our music teacher took pity on me and came with me for a return trip to look at a couple pianos one night. She made the final choice.
I thought that was hard and nerve-racking. Turns out I knew.. how should I say it... oh, yes, NOTHING about nerve-racking. I expected that it would get hard again the week between 23 and 24, and for the four or so weeks after that when viability gets likelier and likelier by the day. But I thought that since so very little of this is in my hands, I could just maybe sleepwalk through that and try to wake up on the other side to some NSTs and some BPPs, and some general commotion. You know, if we made it to the other side.
Turns out, though, that since so little of this is in my hands, but none of it is in anyone else's on a day to day basis as of yet, I am definitely not sleepwalking. I did not realize until last night, when an unfriendly interaction with my husband literally zapped everything I had left, how tightly wound I am, and how fragile. The word to live by appears to be vigilance. Hyper vigilance, to be exact. I realized last night that I more or less, much more than less to be honest, exist in two planes all the time. In one I am doing whatever it is I am doing-- listening to student presentation, shopping, talking to people, reading blogs, helping Monkey with her Old Country language homework, while in the other I am listening, feeling, running the internal stopwatch, and worrying if it has been too long.
Nothing can be done now if things go bad. Even later, after 24, and after 28, at any point really, I know that some things can go bad too fast for anything to be done. Yet, for now, I am the only one who can know if they go bad. And so I count, and time, and keep my split-plane vigil.
This is normal, right? No way through but through, right?