I remembered the feeling well. Looking around the four walls of my house that February, I felt nearly trapped by everything I was waiting for.

I’d gained forty pounds so far in my pregnancy, with still four weeks to go.  I could barely even fit behind the steering wheel of my beloved Jeep Cherokee; R had asked me to not drive unless I absolutely had to.  If I were to be in an accident, the impact of the airbag on my belly would be enormous.  With me clocking in at about five feet tall; I’d always had to have the seat close just to reach the gas pedal.  Moving it back wasn’t an option.

So I waited, at home.  Waited for Z to come home from school, waited for R to be able to come home for lunch or dinner or to take me to my doctor’s appointment.  I’d wait for Amy to come over with some herbal tea or her laptop to show me more amazing things that we could use Photoshop for.  I’d wait to hear back from Rick Springfield about this or that thing I’d done on his website with all of the extra time I had…because I was waiting.   Every minute, all of the time.

It reminded me of the summer before Zachary was born.  I spent that summer waiting, too.  Waiting for the end of the pregnancy, just like now.  Waiting to see what the rest of my life would look like, just like now.  Wondering what my next move would look like; back then it was going back to college; now it was where R’s as yet unknown new job would take us.

Like that summer, I was alone a great deal.  Back then, I’d been home while my mother worked and went out with her girlfriends in the evenings.  Now it was my husband who was working and traveling all over the country looking for a job.  I was starting to get nervous; there was nothing in Wisconsin at his level.  He’d just turned down a position in Florida; he’d won the job but it was a lateral move that paid less.  This week he was in Knoxville, and hopeful.  He called home to talk to me and to Z,  selling me promises of lush, green landscapes and a bright future.  Like ten years ago, I took it all in with a grain of salt, waiting until something more concrete would allow me to shape my thoughts about my future.

Ten years.  In my more maudlin moments, I would mull over the events that had brought me to this point.  Giving birth to my first child; raising him alone; nursing my mother and watching her succumb to cancer; finishing college; looking for my first job, trying to survive teaching in the city; meeting R; our subsequent courtship, marriage and then separation; fulfilling my dream of meeting my favorite rock star and now, unbelieveably, working for him; my reconciliation with R and our move to this strange, new place.  A place that we were already sure we would leave, only ten months after having gotten here.

So much had happened, but at the end of this pregnancy, I found myself feeling many of the same things I felt at the end of my first full term pregnancy.  Anxiety, fear, hope, anticipation, boredom, loneliness.  So much had changed; I wondered why I didn’t feel differently.  I was ten years older, with ten years of experiences and people and life to smooth my sharp edges. Why didn’t I feel calmer, more content, more able to ride the waves with skill and certainty?  But I still felt young and scared and alone, even with my husband and my house and my ten year old son right by my side.  I could logically look at my beautiful surroundings and turn over my memories slowly like savoring a chocolate in my mouth.  I could rationally see all of it, all of my blessings.  But still, I waited.   I was still the same half glass empty, prepare for the worst but sort of hope for the best that you’re not sure you really deserve kind of girl.

Back then, I was waiting for my own life to begin.  This time, I was waiting to begin a new life.  Two sides of the same coin.  Everything felt the same and yet everything was different, all at the same time.

Four more weeks.


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