Thursday, July 24, 2008


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 Withdrawn.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.


Michelle said...

What mom can read that and not cry? You write beautifully.

Unknown said...

Along with a few other reasons...but honestly the main one being I can't have another baby because I can't bear the thought of leaving another one again as I go back to work, and I also know in my line of work I can not afford the luxury of taking even a year off of work. :(

iheartchocolate said...

this was a truly beautiful post. Tears stung my eyes at the very last line.

Anonymous said...

This one post puts things in perspective.

amanda said...

i think this might be my favorite post. truly friend.

you are a beautiful mama :)

Scary Mommy said...

That was beautiful, and I am PMSing so it was extra tear jerking. I know that feeling well.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say I am not sure why this made me teary, but it seems to be a common feeling from reading above.

I was just so simply beautiful to read.

Amanda said...

Damn, I forget that when you want to, you know exactly how to activate my waterworks.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

This Mom said...

Beautiful. Make sure you talk to that mom in your office. Sometime it is juxt what a new mom need is to know she isn't alone and some has been through it before and is will to share the burden.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Love this. Hope you get to talk to your co-worker. It sounds like she is hurting.

Annette Piper said...

What a beautiful post.

On another note though, you have been tagged! See my post here:

tulipmom said...

Beautiful, really beautiful.

I'm still here. Thanks for checking in. It's been a really hard summer with SB. Thankfully I'm still managing to enjoy Tulipbaby ... she is such a little doll.

Chaotic Joy said...

This could be my favorite post of yours ever. It was just beautiful.

Alex Elliot said...

Wonderful post!

Shannon said...

I can remember sleeping next to my mom during storms and it's a wonderful memory. I'm sure your boys will think so too!

If you have a moment, please stop by my place and vote. I would appreciate your advice!

Manic Mommy said...

I'm working (sporadically) on leaving my comfort zone in the interest of compassion. I hope you talk to your co-worker. The isolation was one of the hardest parts.

I loved your lightening story. We've been having a lot of those moments.

Kate said...

loved this. just loved it.

ETsmommy said...

I love your writing and blog, you have an award. Check my blog for details!

Carla said...

I love this photo!! You and the BOYZ!!


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