I am going to the Cannes Film Fest in the middle of May. This is terrifying news. I’m going to cover the films, the fest, the goings-on, the haps. It will be my first time ever covering a film festival, but something I’m going to be doing a lot more of if I plan on doing this job (“Hey dad! I think I can really do this job!” – Broadcast News).
It breaks my heart that I can’t bring my little kid traveling pal along but she has school and testing and all of that. This will be our first extended time apart since she was born. I remember after she was born I held her to my chest and I swear I didn’t let go for two solid weeks. She is almost taller than I am now so it’s hard to imagine her a tiny tot, but a tiny tot she once was. I think her birth was fairly traumatic for me, being that I’m an alarmist, a hypocondriac, a fatalist and an atheist all rolled in one – so you can imagine.
The worst was that they kept insisting upon bathing her before giving her to me. I took upon myself, 18 hours in, Memorial Day, 1998 to shout at the nurse, “humans are primates and primates have to bond with their young! I need you to bring her to me!” The nurses wanted her all cleaned up and ready to be held in that picture perfect way we’ve become accustomed to – I wanted her as is, uncut cord and all. I’ll spare you details of the ripping and the sewing back up.
Needless to say, that kid didn’t leave my arms for weeks. There is something very scary about knowing you are responsible for the life of another human being. I know this is partly due to being a single parent — I simply didn’t have the man around to make it all better. There were a few here and there but for the most part, it was me. The thing that really brought it home to me was putting that carseat in the car and dealing with the stroller.
Something about the mechanics and every-day aspect made me want to drop dead on the spot. Eventually it all becomes second nature. The first thing one has to do, though, is abandon those ideas about the perfect baby and the perfect life. There is a conspiracy of sorts in the media to make it seem like having a baby and raising a baby are easy. But they aren’t. Having a toddler who just wants to test the boundaries constantly will leave you in frothy panic day in and day out. That sweaty panic it pretty tough to take. We have a lot more to fear now than we did oh, say, 4 million years ago.
Anyway, off to the French Riviera I will go. I promise to take lots of pictures and report back. I told my sister that it’s going to be like, “okay should I see this movie I’ve never heard of or that movie I’ve never heard of?”