Reality gets derailed by personal fantasies
October 16, 2008
Sometimes a person anticipates an important moment in their life for a long enough time to develop a perception of how that moment will take place.
For example you sit in class in high school for four long years awaiting that graduation day of retribution where you will give a rousing speech about the system and how its all crap as all of your peers cheer you off the stage and you ride off into the sunset. And then, in all actuality, you just walk up to the stage, shake the principal’s hand and go sit back down.
I too had a misconceived perception for how the birth of my son would take place. The actual birth was extremely exciting and didn’t disappoint at all, but the drive to the hospital was what I was really looking forward to, but the fantasy was not really the reality.
It all begins with me working at my job building retaining walls. I imagine that I’m building some massive structure, carrying hundreds of pounds of blocks on my back, pouring my blood and sweat into my occupation, like a scene out of “The Ten Commandments.”
Then the phone rings…it’s my wife, Megan. “CALEB! I’M GOING INTO LABOR,” and then me: “Hang on Meg, I’m on my way,” in a calm cool and collected tone. I run to my car, which is something really sweet like a 1963 Corvette Stingray or a ’67 GTO (Something really practical to drive to work).
In reality, it all begins at 2:30 a.m. when I’m snoozing, and Megan is awake and uncomfortable. She shakes me and says “Hey, wake up, I think I’m going into labor,” which I respond to by saying “Oh well maybe you should go back to sleep for a couple hours just to make sure.” Looking back, that plan was neither smart nor convincing and, surprisingly, she didn’t agree and thus began the birthing process.
After I pick up Meg, I burn the tires in our Ramsey, Minn. Neighborhood, take the corner on two wheels and approach 100 miles per hour while flying down the highway. As we fly down the highway we hit one of those dramatic bumps that are always in movies as I look over to help Meg with the “HEE HEE WHOO” breathing and barely regain control of the car. Then we go over the dramatic dip in the road that springs the car five feet in the air for the perfect slow motion “AAHHHH,” sparks fly as we hit the pavement, just as the cops flip on the cherries and I pull the car over…
“DANG IT,” I yell as we hit our fourth red stoplight in a row. Megan tells me to slow down as I bring the 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue to a blistering 40 m.p.h on main street, Anoka. I’m sitting in the car actually thinking about how this is really not going according to plan.
“MY WIFE IS IN LABOR!” I yell to the cop who is running at me with his gun drawn. The cop then holsters his firearm and looks at my wife with sheer shock in his face, calls in for backup and proceeds to lead us in a nine-car high-speed convoy down Main Street with cars running into light posts as they try to get out of the way.
“Be careful!” Megan warns as I hit the curb upon turning into the hospital parking lost. “Should we go to the emergency room?” I ask, hoping it’s at least an emergency. “No, we just need to go to the delivery floor,” She responds to which I respond with “ah crap” in my head.
Fortunately, after the extreme disappoint of getting to the hospital, the next 23.5 hours of labor (I will forever be in debt to my wife) produced the greatest thing ever, our little healthy baby, Levi, or as we like to call him, due to his extremely deep breaths during sleep time, Baby Vader.
Caleb Stevens is a student at UW-River Falls.