Note: It’s been less than a week after the horrible event that has shattered not only Newtown, but all of us. I’m not going to use this space right now to post my own reactions, or tell you how I’m feeling, or put my voice out there to join the millions of other shocked, heartbroken voices, simply because I can’t. It’s not my story to tell. Right now I think my role is to pray, to mourn, to make changes where I can–but most of all, to move quietly out of respect for those who were silenced too soon. The reactions will come. The pleas will be voiced, in one way or another. But not now. Just, not now.
Life is starting to get just a little intense around here. Also, I now have cankles. Kindly take a moment to enjoy that visual, why don’t you. David keeps telling me that I look like I normally do non-pregnant, just that I swallowed a 40-pound torpedo. He’s kind. He may also be delusional.
I started this post about two weeks ago, and just deleted most of it, because I sounded like a wackadoo out-of-control frenzied mess. I was whining about laundry, and how we just weren’t ready for the baby, and how there was absolutely no way we were going to be able to handle three children and I’m too old for this up-all-night breastfeeding business, and dear Lord, do I really have to have a c-section again?
The laundry is folded. The new crib mattress is in place, and the suitcase is in our room, ready to be filled with stretchy pants and trashy magazines and phone chargers for the hospital. I’ve been baking cookies with the girls, and sitting when I can, and thankful that there’s no school or gymnastics or MyGym to race off to. Yes, there are a couple of miscellaneous items on the to-do list, but it’s okay. Yes, my thorough agent Katie just sent me her maybe-last round of edits for my novel (I seriously can’t type that yet without wanting to go eeeep!) with initial hopes that I’d finish them by February, and I’m only mildly panicking about when I’ll be awake enough to complete them, well, and without newborn spit-up clogging up the computer keys. But it’ll get done. I should be stocking up the pantry, and stashing meals in the freezer, and sorting through maternity clothes to give to charity. But I’m not.
I’m baking cookies and watching Frosty the Snowman again and avoiding playdates that require me to stand for longer than two minutes at a time. I’m hanging out with the girls and reading The Night Circus because I bought it, even though I really can’t get into it and I’m sort of upset that it’ll be the last book I read before I forget how to stay away long enough to read. But it’s okay. Whatever’s not finished will be finished, eventually. I’m at the point where I’m tired and I have those scary cankles and my sciatic nerve keeps making my upper thigh cramp up and give out on me if the baby shifts his or her enormous weight, which basically makes me look I’m collapsing into the worst contractions ever in the middle of, say, Target. But it’s okay. I have all the energy of those balls of slime we used to have as kids that we’d throw against a wall and watch dribble their gross, slimy, slow ways down to the floor. That’s what I am, I suppose. An exhausted, cankle-ridden ball of neon slime from the ’80s. Lovely. But okay.
Last week while Quinn was napping, Saoirse and I were curled up on the living room sofa together, finishing the last of the tree ornaments she wanted to make and give out as gifts.
“Mom, this is fun when we do it together,” she said, happily bent over her work. I smiled. The baby kicked, and we started talking about what would happen once he or she is born. Out of the blue, Saoirse said she wants us to have another baby after this one. That’s right, another one (Have you seen our house? It is not a large house). After I picked myself up off the floor and shook off the terror of yet another c-section, I realized she was serious.
“I didn’t know you wanted another child,” I said. “I thought you said our house was too small for another one.”
“Well, yes,” she said. “We don’t have enough bedrooms for all of these children. But it could sleep here, or downstairs.” She either meant in the playroom, or in the family room wedged in between the coffee table and TV.
“I thought you said this house would become too noisy.”
If it sounds like I was trying to influence her, well, yeah.
“No.” Saoirse looked up at me. Her smile was a little too wide for my liking. “I want you to have fifteen babies!”
“Fifteen babies!” I replied. “You want me to have fifteen babies?!” I smiled too, though let me tell you, it was a lot smaller than that Cheshire grin on her face. I waited.
“Yeah,” Saoirse said. She giggled. “Then you’re gonna be TIRED.”
She thinks she’s funny, that one.