I woke up this morning to the baby in my belly kicking, rolling and stretching his or her arms, snapping me instantly out of a dream and into the reality of another day spent being a pregnant mother. Inside this dark house, long before sunrise, my other loves were slowly waking up too. I lifted my daughter out of her bed and got her dressed for the day while she worked on slow blinks, little hands pressed to her face to wipe away the night.
My mom hasn't been sleeping well. She says she wakes up in the middle of the night and lies there in the dark and breathes her fears and worries in and out — about her kids and grandkids and the unpredictable and uncontrollable things that happen to us in the circle of community.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — This morning I drove Edie to town to daycare so I could get some work done. My husband was gone hunting in Montana over the past few weekends and into this week, and so I've been on my own a bit more, managing a schedule of deadlines, performances, doctors appointments and fun, calling on my mom and dad, sister, mother-in-law and daycare provider to fill in the blanks of caretaking along the way so that my husband can have time to do the things that make him feel like himself, obliging, of course, because he does the same for me.
Apparently when I'm pregnant I can't help but feel like I'm a ticking time bomb, waddling around counting the days until my world explodes into unmanageable chaos. So I have a tendency, I've learned, to try to manage the heck out of everything in my path in the meantime. I overbook my work schedule, I annoy my husband with reminders about unfinished house projects, I organize places like bathroom cabinets, I plan house additions and I deep clean the oven, (because apparently deep cleaning the oven is strictly a hormonal thing...)
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — It sits low, lower than the kitchen tables they make these days, its claw shaped feet at the bottom of the wooden pedestal look like they're clutching the hardwood floor. Without its three leaves it's perfectly round and could seat four for a card game. With its three leaves it seats six quite comfortably for a meal.
Yesterday I asked Edie if she pooped. "Pew Eee," I said, waving my hand in front of my nose, scrunching up my face. "Pew Eee Hondo," she replied, mimicking my actions and successfully blaming the dog for the first time.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — "Well, I'm on my way home now anyway," he said on the other end of the phone. I called him for something trivial, like why the lawnmower wasn't starting, just the kind of phone call every husband likes to get when they're off on a manly weekend getaway. (The same way he likes that I call it a manly weekend getaway).
"Happy Anniversary" flashed the message on my phone as it sat on a kitchen counter smudged with waffle batter and covered with grapes and cups of coffee and orange juice. My body was aching, my back and feet screaming at me from a week of scheduling madness, keeping me and my big belly on the road and in late at night. I had one more thing that evening, one more thing and then next week would be calmer, I promised. My husband was in the living room watching Edie twirl and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle," and I looked over at him, my eyebrows contorted toward the ceiling in surprise.
She was munching on a pea pod I'd plucked from the plant in front of her, her fine blonde hair escaping from the ball cap she insists on wearing backwards, rendering it completely useless for protecting her rosy cheeks from the 80 degree day. Before she finishes her first garden treat, she's reaching out her hands, mouth full, mumbling "more." I pick her two, one for each hand. Pleased, she struts across the garden in her cowboy boots and shorts, trampling over my onions on her way to see if she might get the chance to pull up an entire bean plant before her momma tells her "no!"
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Last night, the person in front of me paid for my meal at the drive through. It had been a long Monday, and I got to the end of it only to realize I hadn't really eaten anything all day. So I went to one of the only drive-throughs in town, sacrificing nutritional value and inevitable heartburn to make sure that I didn't pass out on my drive home.