I have been neglecting my writing challenge the past two days. The first time, it was late at night, I was exhausted from being sick and running around all day and trying to get things done, and then I sat down to write. Of course, the minute I try to log onto my blog, the internet stops working completely. My brain could not function to get up and try and fix the internet, so I just decided to do the post at a later time. The next night, I realized I could not do the post due to being sick I had not been in a public place for days to witness anything to write about. I had only been to home or work in days. So frustrating.
Needless to say, I will attempt to make up these blog posts in my mind or maybe I will write something down and post it for the world to read. I am not sure yet. I do know that being sick has completely wiped away my dwindling motivation and any energy to get off of my couch and do something productive. But, I am trying.
It was a sunday morning. We had finally just made up the night before. You had emphasized over and over that you did not want children. That the miscarriage had been a sign that we were not supposed to procreate at this moment in time. I thought that we were fine. I thought that I could simply pick you and never have to worry about having kids. I thought, just maybe, that I could get you to change your mind down the road, and maybe I could convince you to adopt a child. I know that deep inside your soul you are a kind-hearted individual, open to rescuing someone from a terrible life and bettering his or her opportunities.
But then, I saw the little red sweater. My heart broke. Tears sprayed down my face. My brain completely froze and my I stopped trying to force air into my lungs. You looked at me, and back at the sweater, and then back at me. Our eyes met. You were so angry. You could see the hope and confusion in my eyes. You could see my heart breaking and you were ripping away at the depths of my soul.
I could not stop what happened next. I let out the tiniest wail and I began to run. I dropped your hand away from me as hard as I could, despite my inability to breathe, and my complete loss of control. In that moment, I took any ounce of control I had left, and I ran away from you. I did not want you to see my inner conflicts rise up again. It had taken me weeks to get you back, and now all I could do was run away.
I finally am a grandmother. I have been waiting for so many years to be able to utter that phrase. I have been telling everyone I know, making phone calls and writing as many letters as possible. I even convinced my son to get me one of the iPhone things so that I could send emails to all the people I know that use some kind of technology. I still can’t figure out the damn thing. I’ve been around for so many years, and back in the early days of my life, cars and phones were a luxury and now people can’t go two minutes without texting their friends an update.
I decided that since today was such a great day, the day after my first grandchild was born, that I needed to visit my favorite park and feed the ducks for my sunday morning ritual. I think they missed me, but I had been busy, helping my daughter as she spent her last few weeks of pregnancy on bed rest. Doctor’s orders. My daughter was so tired of lying in bed by the end of it that she was screaming at me to get her to the hospital to be induced. Boy, were we relieved when she finally went into labor. Her husband was scrambling through the house like a lost puppy. Good thing I had organized everything for them, ready to go in case the baby decided to come at the most unexpected moment.
Somehow, the baby came on her due date, and no one was all that prepared. I decided that my daughter might need a few items for the baby as the fall days were beginning to shorten and the wind was becoming more and more bitter. I was happy to see my duck friends. It had been too long. I also decided that the red wool I had picked out would be suitable for a new baby girl to wear in the fall. I began knitting the sweater and I had sat there for hours. The ducks had been fed, quite well I might add, and had gone off into the pond to do whatever it is that ducks do.
A young couple approached me and the sun shone down on their smiling faces. Once they came closer to me and my bench, the color completely went from the young man’s face. Tears began to stream down his face and he pushed his lover’s hand away from him and fled. There aren’t many things in this world that I question, but I could not figure out what had just happened. I wondered if I could help the young woman. I met her gaze, and smiled, but not in an overbearing sort of way. I attempted to be sort of welcoming. I simply said: “Is there anything I can do to help?”
I’m not sure that I made the right decision when I let him back into my life. I had kicked him out some time after the miscarriage: not because of losing the baby itself, but because his reactions became so verbally violent. Now, I don’t know what kind of person feeling relief from losing a child makes me, but I know that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready then, and I am not sure if I’ll ever be ready. That’s the unfortunate part about being a woman. Some women know that they want to have kids someday and be a mother. Some women want to be a mother right now.
I belong to the third category of women, those who believe that they don’t want children at all. Ever. My life is just beginning. I had just finished college, not more than a year before, and I was finally living on my own and in a new city. And then I met him. We fell in love. But he was older than me, wanting different things, always putting small pushes of pressure on me which would make me snap. Unfortunately, somewhere amidst the love making and arguing and the late night make out sessions that led to more love making, I became pregnant. It’s not something I had wanted, but he had wanted it.
Even though we had put each other through so much pain, somehow we kept ending back at each other’s sides. We were magnets for one another. We were the moon and the sun to each other. He was the milk to my coffee and the peanut butter to my jelly. Though he could make me so frustrated, so angry, he also made me feel like I was the prettiest girl in existence.
He saw the red sweater. I knew then that we weren’t okay and we probably weren’t ever going to be okay. When a couple can’t agree on something as fundamental as having children or not, then something cracks inside of them. I saw the tears drip down his face and his hope begin to crumble. I wanted nothing more than to comfort him, but I knew there was nothing I could do. I had messed up. I could have let him go for good, when I had asked him to leave, but I had been the one to reach out and attempt to fix the relationship.
When he ran, I knew it was my way out.