She sits next to me on the train, absentmindedly stroking her bulging belly. She appears to be about 7 months along, I'm guessing. I don't ask her.
The bottom of the magazine she's reading rests in the narrow space between her breasts and belly. The ledge. I remember mine. I could, and did, balance entire meals on my roundness.
I wonder if this is her first. I don't ask her.
Sitting so close to this stranger as she intermittently scratches and caresses her basketball (was it boy if basketball-shaped; girl if watermelon-shaped?), I remember.
The tightness and itching as my skin loudly protested its stretching. Not being able to cross my legs. The heaviness, not in weight necessarily (although there certainly was), but in manner. The shortness of breath. The swelling (my GOD the swelling). The movements. Kicks and jabs. Hiccups. Eager anticipation. I remember.
An attorney I work with recently came back from maternity leave after having her first child in April.
She seems quiet. Withdrawn. Sad. Her office door is often closed, her windows covered so as to offer her privacy as she pumps. Long days she works.
I don't feel close enough with her to ask anything deeper than a surface, "How are you doing? How's the baby?" I wonder, but I don't ask. I'm pretty sure I already know. I remember.
Starting a new part-time job 4 months after Eldest's birth. Working 11-4 so I wouldn't have to pump. Lactating. Hormonal. Guilty. Missing my baby.
Tomorrow, I think I'll ask.
We had a wicked rainstorm last night around 10pm. Hubby and I were both in the basement (he watching sports; I on the computer), 2 floors away from the slumbering boyz, when the lights flickered on and off, off and on, fighting to remain on, when finally the power succumbed with a whimper.
As Hubby scurried up the stairs, I could hear the echoes of fright from my children tumbling down towards me. I clambered up behind him, groping my way in the pitch black.
All 3 of the boyz were awake. Scared. The booming thunder, flashing lightening and subsequent power outage (that extinguished their night lights) had left them in a panic.
Hubby had a screeching Middle and a sobbing Baby in his arms. I went in to comfort Eldest, who was crying quietly in his bed.
We laid all 3 of them in our queen bed. While Hubby grabbed a flashlight and hunted around for candles to light, the boyz and I snuggled cozily while the lightening flashed its streaks across my bedroom. I dried tears and offered words of comfort.
And I knew.
All is as it should be.