|Round one of “Operation New Carpet”|
Me? OCD? Noooo…well, maybe. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, perhaps because having a kid makes you consider your good and bad traits and how they could get passed down. I have a really hard time being satisfied with anything I do because I always wonder and linger on what could have been better, gone smoother, etc. Lately I’ve been experiencing the extremes of this obsessing as we prepare for this baby, which has turned out to be a good/bad thing.
Take our carpet for example. We’ve lived in our townhouse for almost seven years (yikes!), and our upstairs carpet was white. We had it cleaned at two or three times a year, but time and dogs and wear and tear had made it dingy. As this pregnancy progressed, I started thinking about our baby crawling all over it, and came to the conclusion that it HAD to be replaced. (Crazy pregnant lady moment? Maybe.) So we had it replaced. Since our townhouse is STILL for sale (i.e. not our forever home), I made a relatively quick decision on which carpet we wanted and within two weeks, it was a done deal.
Then, of course, as the contractors left, I sat on my bed, staring at the new carpet I HAD CHOSEN, and thought, “Well, ugh. This is bad.” But what could I do? The bill was paid, the carpet laid, and I had to live with my decision. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad carpet. It just wasn’t exactly what I had imagined from the swatch. So for the next two months I stared at the carpet, secretly regretting my choice and feeling helpless to change it…basically obsessing.
Then God gave me a small blessing in disguise: I noticed a seam in one of the doorways seemed to be popping up, so I called the carpet company to fix it. Long story short (and several visits later), it turns out that the problem is that the carpet in our nursery is from a different dye lot than the rest of the carpet, leaving a visible line in the doorway. They offered to replace it in its entirety so that it would be matching (of course), and asked if I wanted to choose a different style or color. Huh? Really? That easily? Why, yes please!
Although the new carpet is scheduled to arrive at the warehouse June 24th (one day after my official due date…don’t think that will work!), my obsessing over imperfections yielded a good result. In fact, there have been several things throughout preparing for Baby Shove that have a similar story, and every time the result has been uncannily good. It has left me wondering, though: Do I want our baby girl to get this trait?
The answer? I don’t know. There are pros and cons, and I’m not sure if either side outweighs the other. And, unfortunately, deep down I know that I don’t fully have a choice. I can influence her, but I can’t change her. I suppose that’s the kink in parenting–your kids will inevitably turn out how they turn out, regardless of your expectations. (The ironic thing is, though it tends to manifest itself in different ways, Ryan has this same obsessive nature.)
In talking to Ryan about whether or not we thought our daughter will inevitably gain this particular trait (we guessed “most likely”), it reminded me about all of the “I hope she gets this-but-not-that from me/you” conversations that we’ve had over the past nine months. Of course I think Ryan’s almost perfect (shouldn’t all spouses feel this way?), and so I thought I would share the top three traits I hope the baby gets from him. (And, once again, although I know we can’t make her gain these traits, at least I can hope…)
1. Relationship-focused. When Ryan worked for North Point Community Church, one of his personality test strengths was “woo-ing” (winning others over). I admire the fact that he can walk into any situation and connect with others and make them feel important easily and quickly.
2. Ability to dream…BIG. Ryan never thinks small, and it’s been such a great connecting point for us as a couple. His freedom to dream has really been the secret to his success in life (post-academics, of course…ha!), and I hope he never loses his ability to think creatively and without hesitation.
3. Boldness. This isn’t “boldness” in the traditional sense of being abrasive or obnoxious, but rather the drive to be “all in” without fear. When he has a hunch about something, Ryan has this knack for being passionate to the nth degree. He never worries about the what-if’s and potential roadblocks in life, but rather embraces the outcome he desires as the only option.
So as I now obsess over the pending replacement of our carpet (did I choose wrong TWICE?), at least I can rest assured knowing that if our baby girl ends up being OCD like us, she can and will find someone someday that will be her perfect match. (PS: Thanks for marrying me, Ryan. Otherwise I’d be one schnauzer sweatshirt away from official Dog Lady status. At least I acknowledge it, right?)