Being pregnant and being a mommy makes me feel all wrapped up in myself, like I've got to hold myself together with my arms or I might come apart. And if I come apart then I'd be failing my girls, and that's the only thing I can't do. I didn't mean for it to happen, but I've wound myself so tightly around myself, becoming a neat and compact unit of film and string where it's always safe and it's always warm... I'm afraid that I've made it so that you and I are far apart. Like, sometimes I almost can't remember what it was like to open up and spread myself over the air for you to look at, to be something that stands alone and is free to do with myself what I will.
But then, when I went to bed last night, I asked you to lay by me and you were warm and sturdy and reassuring against my skin. Your arm stretched to hold me and I pressed my cheek to the hollow place between your shoulder and your throat, and I didn't feel as though I was an incubator. Just for a moment, I remembered what it felt like to be your girl. Between sleeping and waking, I felt like I belonged to myself only, and so I belonged to you, because belonging to you is what I choose for myself. I've chosen it so thoroughly and completely that it is the only thing I am completely convinced of, that I want to belong to you until I stop breathing. Even then, I'll be yours while I perch high on the edge of my dying consciousness, as I am swept across time and light, I will be made up of the fibers of the love you've given me. Because you have filled my life with so much love. When I die, I'll know what I've always known. The point of living is to love somebody else the way I love you.
How old were we when we used to run away, chasing the sun west along a stretch of highway that would eventually become more home to us than our homes? It was a lifetime ago, but really, it wasn't so long. If I'm still and honest and quiet, I can remember the feeling of my bare feet on the dashboard of your new gray car, my skirts slipping along the length of my thigh for you. We took the world apart, piece by piece and sifted through it, wandering it as a vast expanse of rubble, overturning fragments here and there to find something whole and preserved in the ash. We placed a pebble of light on top of another until we had four walls, studded with pearls and bits of glass. A ceiling of leaves, glittering with dew and newness.
People have always had a problem with us. We weren't right. Were hard to manage, unruly and headed for trouble. Our own mothers lamented us, despicable children who were impossible to like and who didn't belong to them, not really. They prayed at night to the thick darkness, "Please god, they don't belong to us, do they?"
But, it's easy to see now that everybody was wrong about us. The world was meant for us, after all. While people slouch and sigh through their days, locking themselves up against the sunlight, we've got a tiny little illuminated hand in ours. Soft, fat little fingers laced between our giant clumsy ones. Everywhere we go, there is something to marvel over or to wonder at and we laugh and laugh and laugh. We've made the world a perfect place. Our little red headed daughter is snuggled softly between her guys at night, knowing that her mommy and daddy are amazing. That her mommy and daddy love her and one another. That she is fully welcome to love herself because the world is a good place where she can count on two used up and forgotten misfits to do everything right. The first of her kind, the only person to ever give us a reason to try... she counts on the fact that we're perfect for her and that we'll never do anything that isn't part of an effort to make her happy and keep her safe and healthy. And we do an amazing job at being good and right and at belonging to one another, and mostly to her. We don't have to pray because we've known darkness to be darkness all along, but we suffer sweetly a hope and a wish that she will always belong to us, always and always and always until we turn into light and dust, and that's the only perfect thing that's ever happened, ever.
Now I've got another baby in my belly. Another little set of gripping fingers, almost too small and delicate to imagine them. We made another little girl and she's going to be so gorgeous and smart that she hurts our hearts. She's going to be so lovable that the world is going to explode into color and movement, again. She's going to run us into the ground so that we're sure we won't survive another moment of this exhaustion and servitude, but mostly we'll be slain by gratitude for her tiny bird lips and her big, clear eyes. Thankfulness for the fast beating of her little mouse's heart and the silkiness of her feathery, light hair. We did something right, again. The world was wrong about us, weren't they?
And more than you could ever be sure of, I love you.
Oh, and Happy Birthday.
His birthday is coming up, and I want to have something up my sleeve. Especially since he called me from work yesterday and said, "Do you like hot stone massage?"
I said, "Yes. Why?"
He said, "I just scheduled you for one on Sunday."
The only thing is... he doesn't want anything. He's not like me. When my birthday is coming up, I can think of exactly 1 million things I would like to have, do and eat. He never gets anything, either. I get jewelry, I get a camera, I get a massage and a fancy dinner out. Kurt is a much more quiet-living person. He doesn't want anything he doesn't need and he'd be fine with spending the day by himself, drinking coffee and reading the paper in a diner. So, I need to be smarter than all that. I need to think like a reasonable person and come up with something that shows him just how perfect he is, for us. There must be something he's coveting.
Give me your best ideas. Is there somewhere unique and fun to visit in April, near Pittsburgh? Some place that would be fun if we have the girls with us, seeing as how Louise freaks out and screams with quite literally every breath when we leave her with someone. Have you ever blown somebody's mind for their birthday? I'm talking... we want to make him get all teary and feel more appreciated than he's comfortable feeling. Let's make this happen, people!