Back to the tree analogy and my marriage, slash, divorce, slash, everything in between. There I am with my shovel in hand, covered in dirt, and a gaping hole in the backyard of my mind. I’m trying to plant a tree here.
Actually, I was on a bed having a pity session, but nevermind that.
With each shovel of dirt, I dig, something new reveals itself or a memory surfaces. It was like unexplicable deja-vu a thousand times over. I’d be sitting on one of those toy structures at the park, watching my son jaunt from slide to slide, and suddenly remember a trip or a moment. Moments are always accompanied by feelings, at least for me, when something is really special I can feel it, taste it, smell it. I even have a theme song playing in the background. That’s what happened this morning outside my apartment as I was locking the door. A breeze was present and the air had a smell of early winter when it’s just beginning to feel crisp. It reminded me of so many places I’ve been before, it reminded me of September 21, 2005. Theme song: Tim McGraw, “Let the Wind Blow By” (I recommend playing it while you read this next section).
My blood pressure was high that day, extremely high. At least that’s what the nurse midwife told me as she undid the pressure cuff and immediately picked up the phone. Okay, you’re coming back at 1:00–this little guy is going to make his debut today. She was right, he did. We got into the car and drove cautiously back to our townhouse, afterall we didn’t want to die en route the hospital to have a baby, actually, I did kind of. Slamming the trunk shut I took one last puke into the bush (for old time’s sake) and hopped in the car. For about two exits I thought about how much I would miss the constant throwing up, lack of sleep due to heartburn, itchy belly skin, among other things. Pregnant women really are hormonal. At exit three I turned to my then husband, “why don’t we just turn around, turn around! I changed my mind.” Unfortunately, there is no changing your mind when you’re nine months pregnant.
Two weeks earlier I vowed that if the pregnancy didn’t end within one month time I would rather be dead. That is another hormonal pregnancy thought. It’s also what nine months of vomit does to you. At exit four I was resolved and praying that my pelvic cavity would do its job. The hospital room had one of those birthing bathtubs, which I took one look at, just one. Then I shut the door and ordered all those present to keep it closed indefintely. The nurse had no problem with that, she promply attached me to the bed via plastic tubing–have at it girl. At this point, I am thinking two words over and over in my head–watermelon, lemon, watermelon, lemon…how does this equate?
In all actuality, babies aren’t really the size of watermelons and your va jay jay isn’t the size of a lemon either—not when it’s done doing its job. After four hours of labor (that included pushing) little E entered the world at a mere six pounds, God was watching over me that day. Despite all my fears, I now realize that labor was the least of my worries, the very least.
The next morning at eight a.m., I ordered the nurse to sign the orders that would release me. My ex sister in-law used to say she was staying as long as they’d let her, five days. Five days?!? Pardon me, but I think I’ll nurse my va jay jay back to health at home and I was going home, freedom (with a slight inflection)! I squeezed into my size one jeans (I know rough) and dressed little E for his big trip. This is where the important part of the story happens, the breeze, the crisp air, the smell, September 21, 2005 (well actually 22nd by now but you get the picture), easily the best moment of my life. Stepping out of that hospital I was free to live my life however I would choose; free to be the Mom of little E and raise him to know all good things and some bad too, so he’d pick the best experiences in life. That day, as I placed his seat in my car, I couldn’t know exactly what was to come but I did know certain things. Like life was good and the crisp air would someday be a remembrance, a moment.
That moment came:
in the fall of 2006 as E took his first steps on the porch,
and 2007 when I found him chasing the dog through the leaves,
2008 as he “spit” out his third birthday candles,
2009 while riding his bike in the autumn months.
This morning it came unexpectedly as I locked the door to our apartment. Its summer and E spends most of it with his Dad now in Southern California (a product of the divorce). I won’t see him for another two weeks, so in my humble opinion E sent me that moment on a hot July day to remind me. This fall is kindergarten, a fresh start at something new for E, maybe me too. You can turn the music off now.
Three and a half years of digging and remembrances has left me tired and happy and melancholy all at the same time. I’m thinking it’s finally time to fill that hole up.
Your whit. ing. mom