An hour before we were to leave for our weekend trip I blurted out from the other room, “and while you’re there get a pregnancy test”. This was the addendum to the list after cat food.
Silence. Then ruckus laughter that held undertones of mixed joy and disbelief from the father of my children. It’s not what I wanted to hear. “Don’t go all stupid on me. I won’t be able to do this”. This, meaning nothing and everything jointly. My brow contorted as if to say, ‘don’t *mess* with me’ although clearly this may have been a moot point.
On and off for the past few months I thought this could be a remote possibility. Very remote but nevertheless not a medical miracle. You’ve heard of it happening – the ovaries send out word like a spam email blast – “Going-out-of-business sale! All inventory must go! Everything available for a limited time only”!
Or this –
“You are cordially invited to attend the party of the century – The last dance, the last hurrah! RSVP-ASAP”!
I know for a fact this occurs. It happened to my parents. The ‘X’ chromosome RSVPed. My dad was 53 when I was born, my age. My mom was in her early to mid forties. It was very much a surprise party and nine months later, I was the party favor!
Within 20 minutes a long thin box was handed to me as cans of cat food were placed on the kitchen counter. It had been 21 years since I last opened one of those boxes with giddy excitement in hope of adding a sibling for our 2 year-old son. I was 33 then. A generation ago. I didn't feel that way anymore.
As my heart beat in my throat, the directions seemed written in gibberish. My eyes started at the top of the page and made it to the bottom several times without comprehension. I asked for assistance without commentary and handed over my reading glasses to the father of my children.
Relieved of the burden of not having to think, suddenly a moment of false clarity based on avoidance and fear - “I’ll take it after the weekend. It’ll ruin our trip”.
Our destination was to visit our youngest son in college who turns 20 this week. I was using his birthday as the excuse for the all inclusive ‘well child check/frig restock/mom needs a hug’ mission accompanied by a wonderfully romantic winery hopping side trip.
Whatever decisions may or may not have to be made in case of a positive result, I could not be intentionally irresponsible. This was the sudden urgency I felt. I had to know before we left if I could partake on my side trip or be sidelined.
The male voice behind my purple reading glasses said, “Get it over with so you can enjoy yourself”, (‘You’ distinctly meaning him) as he read and explained what end of the stick went where in the new millennium.
Three minutes later the father of my children asked from the safety of the other room – “Is it blinking”?
“Yes. Now it stopped”.
“What does it say”?
“There is a god”.
I came around the corner smiling, happy and relieved until we came close enough to touch. We looked at each other and I felt the corners of my mouth turn downward and my eyes begin to water. I buried my face in his chest with my arms at my sides. My shoulders hiccupped in a couple short emotional breaths. I stayed melted into him as comforting hands ran up and down my spine. I heard a conflicted muffled voice.
“I feel old”. It was mine.