Last week was our first childbirth class through Yale. We go to one two-hour class a week for five weeks total and learn all about breathing and c-sections and epidurals, as well as tour the hospital. I was excited when I signed up for the class months ago. Pregnancy was newer then, and I couldn't wait to learn all about pushing a baby out of my body, but last week, when it was time to attend that first class after a long Wednesday of working, what I really wanted to do was stay at home and watch an episode or two of "Law and Order: SVU" in the air-conditioned bedroom before going to sleep nice and early. Luckily, once I got to the class and saw all the other pregnant women and met the retired nurse who'd be teaching us, I got excited again. It was fun to be with other people just as clueless as me and somehow, strangely fun to learn all about what our bodies were going through and what will happen as we get closer to delivering these babies.
One of the best things we did during class was practice relaxation techniques. Anyone who's ever been to a yoga class will know the kind of thing I'm talking about, where you consciously relax every part of your body, from the top of your head to your toes, and then maybe do a little visualizing, imagining yourself somewhere nice and calm before gently waking up. It's nice, really nice, and J just so happens to LOVE this kind of exercise. He says he's "really good at it," whatever that means.
So earlier this week we decided to practice the relaxation techniques we'd learned, as we'd been prompted to do. J decided to take the lead, since he's so good at it and all. "I've been doing this since the eighth grade, and it never fails to make me completely relaxed," he told me. "The eighth grade?" I said. I'd always assumed he'd learned relaxation exercises during some "Let's All Get to Know One Another" party thrown by the resident advisors his freshman year in college, or from a Web site or something. But he explained that he'd learned the technique from his CCD teacher as he was preparing for confirmation when he was in eighth grade.
Well, whatever. J told me to get comfortable, so I did, lying on my side facing away from him as he lay next to me. He told me to start relaxing the various part of my body, just like I'd done every other time I'd performed this particular exercise, and I started to get really good and into it when he said "Now, breathe in and out, slowly. If you want, you can say a little mantra as you breathe. I like to say 'Jesus, my Lord.' 'Jesus' when I inhale, and 'my Lord' when I exhale. You can use that too, or you can make up your own. Now keep going-"
"Wait a second. What?"
"WHY do you say 'Jesus, my Lord?" I was beyond relaxation at this point. I could not stop laughing. "Because," J said. "I told you. I learned this in confirmation class. That's what the teacher told us to do."
"But...that's so ridiculous. So ridiculous."
J, who found this little episode funny-how could you not?-but not as funny as I did, was trying to get back into the breathing, but I couldn't let it go.
"'JESUS MY LORD???' Are you serious???"
"I TOLD YOU. I LEARNED THE RELAXATION EXERCISE IN MY CONFIRMATION CLASS."