Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cribs, diapers, bottles and onesies, changing tables, tiny socks and Vaseline.

In September, we decide we aren't going to wait anymore. We are tired of expecting a miracle of money to come along and insure that we can handle caring for a creature we've made. Stability is imaginary anyway. And things bought often break or soon stand in closet shadows wearing fuzzy sheets of dust. It's the night of our 5-year-wedding anniversary. We sit on a steep grassy slope watching the sun plunge beneath the Earth. We are smiling at the other's smile. Now? We really mean now? It is the first time we can agree on when to mark this dash of our timeline. Yes we want a baby now. 

Two months later, we conceive. I don't know it until December, but I have a zygote and it is dividing its cells inside me. Later, an embryonic secret begs for Saltines, stretchy pants, winged sweaters and afternoon naps. We tell our families because we need them to know. If I lose it, I need them. If I can keep it, I need them. I have no secrets from those I love who ask me questions. After 31 years of living, this is something I've learned.  

I am forming a four month old fetus now. The fluttering, I think, has begun. I look at pictures on the Internet to see if I am fat compared to strangers who post pictures of their bare bellies with cutesy signs stating food cravings, discomforts and current countdowns. I take no pictures, but stare at the slopes of my extending curves like a toddler marvels at a large sticky snot plucked from the depths of his nostril. My nurse midwife says if I "look more pregnant at night" that probably just means I'm bloated. I look at scientific drawings of my crowded insides and they fail to convince me that my organs are there, let alone a budding babe. I have strange dreams and financial fears, but I take my prenatal pills and laugh a lot. Somehow this future I'm forming within my brilliantly evolved -and yes, often bloated- body gathers joy closer to me. I hardly have to reach for it now. And aside from avoiding extremely strenuous exercise, I feel powerful. I am building a tiny person after all. 

We don't have a crib. I don't know that we'll ever have one. We are hoping to have our baby sleep beside us. Milk when he needs it. A touch when she calls for it. Unconventional in this country, often criticized and teased, but something we hope to try nonetheless. We're busy and broke and getting most of our child rearing supplies from my in-laws, who have one child and a house with old baby things in the basement. I am happy for these hammy downs. I don't want to be the mother who thinks she needs every gadget made by capitalism's elephant patterned cuteness. We wouldn't have a place for it all anyway. We live in a one-bedroom apartment: he, me, and our brown silly doggy. We don't have that little house we thought we're supposed to have, but we don't mind. We're happy here.   

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Square of Sunlight

While I wait for the yeast to foam and the butter to melt, I stand in a square of sunlight. This winter has been like a monster with low self-esteem, bullying us into buildings and battering the trees. All twenty-five of the degrees today feel like secret messages from Spring. Soon, she says, soon. Tomorrow is March 1st. This old house has cold spots on the floors and a window in the bathroom that invites the winter wind to enter and chill our porcelain throne. So I stand in the center of the sun's affections, flushing away my bleak complexion, while the dog watches. I don't want to be a wife who festers and pesters about money. I vacuum, water the plants and wash the dishes. I eat left overs and a cabbage salad that tires my jaw. Later, I follow snowmobile tracks over hills, into farms and past the frozen river with the wet blue edges. Penny and I think we smell something stinky and I am fairly certain those prints are too big to be from another dog. She pulls and I let her, turning my neck and reaching my eyes around the hood of my coat. From far away, I hope to see a bear. I've never seen a wild one and I'd like to.