Here are a few things I’ve cried about lately.
A man and a woman laughed at me in the parking lot after work when I politely asked them not to block the driveway. I sobbed like my eyes and nose might run right off my face.
I was short with a bank teller. After apologizing twice, I still felt beyond redemption.
M and I enjoyed a night out and I cried into a paper napkin thinking of how it won’t be just the two of us for very much longer. Again, later, when he held my hand and told me about the dream he’d had shortly after we’d found out I was pregnant, how some bodiless voice had warned him I would never be his wife again, only the mother to his child. We’re afraid of the same things even as our eyes brighten in anticipation.
To say I’m not excited about this baby, about being a parent, would be too gross an understatement. But for all my thrills over pocket cloth diapers emblazoned with cheerful monsters and a shelf overflowing with library loaned books on pregnancy and parenting, I have no delusions about what starting a family really means, at least for me, for us. I might never have been anyone’s mother, but I’ve been a friend, an enemy, a conspirator. Sure, we’re having a baby. But we’re also inviting another person to share what we share. We’re introducing their likes and dislikes, their intellect, their sense of humor, their wants and needs (beyond feeding, changing, and sleeping) into the cozy routines, the dynamic, we two have tempered for nearly ten years. M and I are happy.
Maybe we won’t be recommending books to each other for a few years, but babies are people, too. We’ll be meeting someone new. We’ll be a family.
I told M that I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I love him. We’re sitting outside of a coffee house where I’ve already imagined myself wearing my baby in a cozy wrap across my chest, the light music of laptop keys a familiar lull for us both. I finished my first novel here. It’s a special place.
“It’s not like that,” he says, and he doesn’t have to elaborate. I squeeze his fingers. Love is love. It grows. And the best kind is never in competition.