October 29, 2007
And the other night, on the way to the party, we passed an accident. I think normally this would've gotten to me anyway, because it became obvious as we passed that a very distraught woman had just hit someone's dog. The poor little white doggy was lying in the road. We had to sit in the car for several minutes before going into the party so I could get my sobs under control.
But this one might not normally have made me cry, except for the fact that it reminded me what lies in my future. My mom and I have a good friendship and talk often, but my dad is much more reserved. He and I get along perfectly, but we rarely talk because he is definitely a Man's Man, and they don't do things like chat on the phone. But I know he loves me, because he shows it in little ways that mean so much.
When we went to my grandparents' house last week, I forgot to pack my glasses. I had my contacts in, of course, but I'm blind as a bat once I take them out. So is my father; we have the same prescription. When I realized that I had forgotten my glasses, my dad immediately handed me his and let me borrow them for the entire week. It might not seem like much, but it is if you're as blind as we are. My dad sacrificed his vision so his daughter could see. Shoot, I can't imagine myself lending my glasses to anyone, much less some dummy who has a perfectly good pair she stupidly left at home. In no way did I ever expect him to hand his glasses over to me. But my dad did it without even thinking.
He sacrificed for his child.
He made a pretty big sacrifice this past weekend as well. Crazy Aunt Purl was going to be in my hometown for a book signing, and I begged my mom to go meet her and get books signed for me and The Girl. My mom assured me she would, but business came up and she needed to be out of town. She got my father to go downtown to the Women's Lifestyle Show and ask a knit-blogger for an autograph.
What a man.
My dad made me cry a lot this week thinking about what it means to be a parent. It means doing a lot of crap you don't really want to do, like braving the estrogen-filled halls of the convention center to make your child happy. It means giving up something you need so your child can have it, like your eyesight.
Even when your child is 30.
In 12 years, my child will almost be 11 and a half. I hope I am as selfless as my father is.
October 28, 2007
So that's that. The girl who loves cooking and knitting can barely bring herself to enter the kitchen or muster the strength to lift the needles. It's a sad state of affairs in this house.
But it's exactly what I wanted, right? At least I keep reminding myself of that as I run to the bathroom.
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
These were the happy days, the salad days as they say, and Ed felt that having a critter was the next logical step. It was all she thought about. Her point was that there was too much love and beauty for just the two of us and every day we kept a child out of the world was a day he might later regret having missed.
So we worked at it on the days we calculated most likely to be fruitful, and we worked at it most other days just to be sure. Seemed like nothing could stand in our way now. My lawless years were behind me; our child rearin' years lay ahead. But biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless.
Our love for each other was stronger than ever, but I preminisced no return of the salad days.
I've been itchin' to watch Raising Arizona again, it being one of my favorite movies of all time, but I just didn't think I could bear watching a movie about a couple who can't have a baby. For nine months, I touched it lovingly on the shelf but knew I wouldn't be able to watch it. It makes me cry on regular days; there's no way I could watch it when I too thought my womb might be a rocky place where a seed could find no home.
We've even joked about stealing one of the Dente boys, since they too have more than they can handle.
The past nine months have been a valued experience for me. I thought I'd be going into labor by now, but instead I've been forced to examine why I wanted a baby in the first place and what is really important in this world. Nine months ago, I thought it mattered what month the baby would be born, or what time of year would be best to be pregnant, or whether I wanted a boy or girl. Now...none of those things matter anymore. I've let go of caring about anything, save that a healthy child blesses our household.
I've woken up and taken my temperature 234 times, each time a depressing reminder that I wasn't yet pregnant. I've been forced to watch others around me get pregnant and to learn that life isn't fair and how hard you try really plays no role. I've confronted myself, thrown temper tantrums, and learned to get over myself in the process. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't trade these nine months for anything. I learned a lot about myself and about life in the process.
So when I took that pregnancy test last weekend and saw the little pink plus sign appear, I knew we were ready. And I hollered at my husband to get Raising Arizona out.
We were finally going to watch it.
October 17, 2007
Uh, yeah. Dial up. It took me ages to just check my email last night.
October 11, 2007
He took me to exercise my rights.
We have been talking about purchasing a firearm since we got back from Germany. So when we drove up to the place, I figured we were going shopping. That's when he told me that this place had its own firing range. I'm sure my face looked like most women would look if they were offered a shoe shopping spree. Better, in fact.
I had never fired a weapon before. I'd never even been around firearms before; the first time I ever saw one up close was the day my husband deployed. (Seriously, I was so retarded that when my husband gave me tips, a few times I thought "Hey, I know that from CSI:Miami.") I must admit it was a bit intimidating. I had to keep reminding myself that bullets can't just explode on their own, and a revolver with the cylinder open can't really hurt you. That may sound silly to experienced marksmen, but it's an unsettling feeling for a novice. Someone who's accomplished with firearms handles them with confidence and ease, while an idiot like me wanted to hold it like it was an egg and hide behind the partition while my husband was loading it.
We rented a Smith & Wesson revolver and an XD 9mm. My husband gave me some pointers and showed me how to handle the revolver first. As I aimed for the target's chest, I savored the moment of taking my first shot. And didn't really hit the chest. I am not very good at aiming yet, and I wasn't expecting the spark of flame that accompanies the shot. And the noise. But I improved a little as we made our way through the box of ammo and became a bit more confident.
The 9mm was a different story though. My husband originally said that we might want to consider buying a revolver. In my stupid mind, I thought that a revolver wasn't sexy enough. Who wants a revolver when they could have a 9mm? Um, I do. Holy crap, the kick on that thing was absurd. Apparently knitting muscles are not the same ones as firearm muscles! I had the hardest time keeping the danged thing from jumping four inches every time I fired it. I could barely even aim the thing, just hope for the best that I was at least hitting the silhouette somewhere.
We didin't buy anything tonight, but I think I'm leaning towards a revolver. Maybe I'll graduate to that 9mm once I have more practice.
So my husband, who barely remembers to get me a birthday card most years, came through with flying colors. It was a genuine surprise, and one that made me feel giddy inside to be an American. Especially since I just read Bill Whittle's Freedom again the other day:
Once the Second Amendment goes, the First will soon follow, because if some unelected elite determines that the people can't be trusted with dangerous guns, then it's just a matter of time until they decide they can't be trusted with dangerous ideas, either. Dangerous ideas have killed many millions more people than dangerous handguns -- listen to the voices from the Gulag, the death camps, and all the blood-soaked killing fields through history.
The Framers, in their wisdom, put the 2nd Amendment there to give teeth to the revolutionary, unheard-of idea that the power rests with We The People. They did not depend on good will or promises. They made sure that when push came to shove, we'd be the ones doing the pushing and shoving, not the folks in Washington.
However, as we arrived and walked towards the range, I got a funny smile on my face. I told a lot of people that my husband had a surprise for me today. My friend from Sweden. My aunt. The little old ladies from my knitting circle. Are they going to all freak out if I tell them the truth about what my husband organized for my birthday? It's even more intense than that year he introduced me to his tank.
So I made the leap to Grown Up today. And I also made the leap to 2nd Amendment practitioner. Big day.
I swear, the older I get, the less I look my age.
The most vivid birthday I remember from my past was turning 13. I was so excited, because I was going to be a Teenager, by golly. I had made it to another stage of my life.
Today I also feel like I'm hitting a new stage. I'm a Grown Up today.
Somebody needs to tell my hair...
October 06, 2007
Nothing like a healthy dose of perspective.
That's the harsh truth and crappy part about this process: no one is safe. Nothing says that once we finally get pregnant, we're in the clear. Nothing says that once you give birth, you get more than a day with your baby, as this story over at Fiberlicious always reminds me. And nothing guarantees that the precious child you've raised and loved won't die when he's 17, and then your heart won't be broken by the pregnant women around you but by the flood of his peers' high school graduation announcements.
If I've learned anything in the past nine months, it's that this whole process sucks. Opening your heart up to having a child means opening your heart to a world of pain like you've never known.
And I'm far from the only person who's ever been hurt by the process, so I think I'll stop talking about it.
October 05, 2007
October 04, 2007
I used to know how to answer that question, with an assured and confident negative. When pressed, I was able to justify our childless marriage by saying that there was no way on earth I was going to have a baby in Germany and that we needed to wait until we were stationed in one place for longer than nine months before we even considered it.
Now that we've been trying to have a baby, I no longer know how to answer this question. I've been asked it frequently lately, and a simple No doesn't really seem to capture our situation.
But it's not really appropriate to launch into a sob story of how long we've been trying and that we would be having a baby next month if my body had worked properly from the beginning. Or that I'm not almost 30 and childless on purpose. My husband said that if he's learned anything from this process, it's that he'll never again assume that people are childless by design.
I know eight women who are pregnant right now, eight women who've all gotten pregnant after we started trying. A few of them didn't even want their pregnancies.
I hate the word "unfair," but I find myself thinking it more and more often.
Is that an answer to the question?
"Do you have any kids?"
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