Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Better than Fireworks

Amidst the sounds of all the appliances running, I'm trying to find a quiet spot. Running around cleaning, tidying up, washing, drying, hanging, folding, dusting, and doing all the other dirty four-letter words related to housework, I'm playing catch-up. Having had my husband to myself for four days, I took the time off to enjoy his time.

Yesterday was also a bit of mommy-talk over bowls of Neopolitan ice cream between a dear friend and myself, after she and her husband told us they're expecting! Well, being the over-protective kid-and-mommy kind of friend that I am, I gave her hubby some of the best niblets of advice I could.

1. I informed him that she would become a paranoid, slightly neurotic woman for the next few months and it was his job to get over it.
2. All that ice cream she's been craving lately? well, at least he was only having to get it during daylight hours at this point and not to complain about it.
3. pamper the girl. Or else I'd badger him.

I thought that was simple enough. He laughed at me. We'll see who's laughing in another month or two when he looks my husband in the face and says incredulously about his wife "She actually thinks I'm having an affair!"

We didn't do the crowds on the riverfront to see the fireworks last night. Celebrating a pregnancy seemed more poignant than crowds, and better than fireworks, so I caught the televised ones later in the evening from inside my air-conditioned house. Yes, that may seem like cheating, but somehow dragging a 2 year old out way past his bedtime to go watch sparkly colors in the sky accompanied by loud booms didn't seem kind. And our newly pregnant friend is about 1300 miles farther south than she used to live and isn't adjusting all that well to the heat (imagine that! You mothers will understand....)

I love having a pregnant friend to dote over. Mostly because it's a constructive use of all my regrets that I can't have any more children. Yesterday, for the first time in almost a year, I wanted to be pregnant again. Now this is a ridulous notion for those that remember either of my own two pregnancies. They were horrible, miserable, painful, and riddled with close-calls and near-misses. Point being, I know the folly of even wishing for another pregnancy. Good thing I can enjoy my friend's vicariously without the nausea, bloating, hormonal paranoia, or the hair on my legs growing faster and getting harder to reach around the ever-expanding belly.

I remember needing to budget in a larger car, an entire layette and baby furniture, infant toys, bottles, booties, wipes, receiving blankets.... Somehow it's only fun to plan the baby room until you actually go to pay for it. Then the first pains of parenthood set in. I remember planning on a nice lunch out with my husband after the first doctor's appointment, and shopping for furniture, car seats.... After an hour of looking at options, pricing various necessities, and seeing what all made up a layette, my eyes clouded and my mood darkened and I mentioned to my hubby that maybe we should eat something cheap like a Wendy's salad and save the rest that we would've spent at a place like T.G.I. Friday's towards the baby's needs. Ever the spendthrift, he agreed. I don't blame him. We're both just more apt to spend large amounts of money on the kids than we are on each other.

I will not hold my own newborn in my arms again for hours and stare into the tiny eyes that ares staring back into mine. I will not smile into a face that is so rapt with fascination at every line in my face that it will unblinkingly memorize my visage for hours. I will not have tiny hands wrap delicately but powerfully around my index finger, clinging to me for comfort and reassurance. No, none of these things will happen again. But I can celebrate the new babies born to our friends, and I can close my eyes and remember my own children as infants. And it is so cool to watch my kids become more autonomous every day. I'm content to enjoy them while they still need me at all!

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