Tuesday, July 22, 2008


One of my favorite people, whom I've known since the first day of ninth grade, is in those antsy last hours before giving birth to her first child. I want to tell her:

I want to tell you. That you will get through this. That you will do great. That the wondering and scenario-creating is unstoppable, but immaterial. That your body is lithe and able, even if you don't feel it so much right now. That you teach Pilates and yoga, for goodness' sake, and your body is more ready than most for what you're about to do, even if your son is future rugby fullback material. That it might be a long and hard day (or days), that your faith in yourself might falter, but that it shouldn't. I believe in you, not that that matters. And also: that in general terms, not just related to what you're about to do, you are an extremely capable woman. And also: that I've seen you talk yourself out of or into, or out of and into, just about everything there is. Beauty, school, drugs, bras, god, potential. And that somehow, soon, you're going to get a gorgeous boy out of you, safely and healthily. And you're going to be so proud of having done such and amazing and hard thing, commonplace perhaps, but amazing and hard nonetheless. And also: that after you do, I cannot wait for the day that I meet him and get to nibble on his toes. And just that I'm thinking of you so much, and please make sure your fantastic but overwhelmed husband will still get the good news out promptly.

And you'll have gone and done all that, and then, one day, your baby is almost two-and-a-half. For me, this has hit with the realization my particular darling is rounding three, and then I'm really screwed-with-a-screwdriver. And at a just days short of two-and-a-half, the creatures know EXACTLY what they want. For example, noodles for dinner. Long noodles, specifically. E, tonight's creature in question, got to pick between the farfalle, the penne, and the angel hair and SHE PICKED THE ANGEL HAIR. I should not be held accountable that once cooked, these noodles are Long. So she's having trouble keeping them on the spoon that she insists she wants to use instead of a fork, and wails, THEY'RE TOO LONG! So I take a knife and cut through her noodles and she wails NO, MAMA! Don't DO THAT! And then she rejects the next spoonful because hey, they're short, and that is not good. So I retrieve another bowl (NOT THAT BOWL! A PURPLE BOWL!) and get some as-yet-uncut noodles from the pot. Then there's the lament that these are too long and I don't want these and I want beeeeeeeeeeanssssss, Mama! And I calculate that even though I pat myself on the back for getting her baby sister to sleep 20 minutes early, and thereby starting this dinner 20 minutes early, still we've been at this noodle-debate for nearly 40 minutes, and I calculate that there are a lot of noodles left in that pot and I don't even like angel hair as a shape, and I calculate that it's only about 68 hours until her daddy comes home, and maybe then, time for future business trips excepting, he can just be in charge of her until she's nineteen-and-a-half. But Catherine, darling, just get through this week. You don't have to worry about noodle-length discrimination for two-and-a-half years. Pin It