PTSF Repost: 7 Months Later

I was going through PTSF archives and found this post. I had forgotten that I wrote the thing. I had also forgotten what it felt like to be pregnant and full of the anticipation that comes with watching your body change shape, the nerves, the questions. When Archer was born it was like Christmas morning x infinity-gooleplex-infinity, a feeling that has lasted and I assume will last forever. Anyway... a repost for the momz to be:


Thoughts She Might Have While Waiting

He moves inside of her, trapped in the only world he knows. In two months, he can stretch his legs and touch strange faces, pulling stories and light through the holes in fallen leaves, nibbled by inchworms on the topsoil. He will open his eyes and see the doctors, then his Father and finally Mom. And soon he will see the medical machines and the Renoir prints framed by brassy gold that hang slightly crooked on the bleak hospital walls. She cannot imagine what he will say to himself when he sees these things for the first time. The congruency of seeing and knowing based on first impressions. Everything, a first impression.

This little human, spawned from a single moment, the biological gift of pleasure's metamorphosis- and soon, a baby boy, vulnerable and soft-skinned. The mother pats her belly. She draws circles where she thinks his head rests, like a halo round and round. She wonders what he is thinking about. If he will be claustrophobic like her, feeling the need to burn holes in the sky, to climb out of the world that seems at times so low like the ceiling of a dollhouse or the 6 1/2 floor. How does he cope with his growth? Curled up in a ball, walled in by humidity and darkness, blinded by the occasional beam of light through her belly button.

He has a name and she calls to him, so that he can hear her voice and love her as he grows beneath her rib cage, sagging quietly toward the hole between her legs, his escape. Full of life, she pushes her belly out and walks him down Detroit Street, to the end of the block and back with her dogs in tow. The dogs recognize her voice when she calls to them. She wonders if they know about the baby, like a beanstalk curling through her, green and freckled like her husband's eyes. She wonders if the dogs can sense that two hearts are beating in the same space, her body, layered like a Russian Matroska doll. Perhaps they can hear the two drums in harmony

She thinks he will have a sense of humor because every time she laughs he bumps her with his heels, stretching to the rhythm of her giggles. She thinks he will be a musician like his father because when her husband sits down to play the piano, the baby moves, kicking and clawing and waltzing. She thinks he will have his fathers lips and her eyes because that is what she imagines when she dreams of him. She knows that he will be beautiful, strong and sensitive, stubborn with the willpower of an idealist, and that perhaps she will have to teach him as she has been taught that the real world seeks not another dreamer so he must be aware of the risks involved. She hopes to be like her mother- aware of her child's potential, generous with love and the freedom to explore. That she will remember to send her child looking for his own hiding places and mountaintops, rather than mapping out her own. She tells herself that he will find the way without her, so long as she packs him lunch and an umbrella. "Just in case it rains," she will say and he will roll his eyes and tighten the laces in his boots.

When people ask for his name, she tells them, introducing her belly with pride, as almost a shadow would, for in the sun he stays in focus as she stands behind him slightly blurred. She knows that everything is about to change, that he will escape her violently and enter a world that she and her husband are wary of. They speak in the night, cuddled together, about the future of America and where they think the baby would be happiest, stimulated, free. They have agreed that the suburbs are no place to raise a family. They laugh at this and the baby spins and pushes on her side. He tickles her with the voltage of trapped enthusiasm and she laughs again.

His moves become rapid and she turns on her back so that her husband can press his ear to the stretching shell and hear the ocean. So that he can trace the movements with his fingers and feel an entire world, under water, white as skin, ambitious with nature's willpower: the balance of natural beauty and disaster. Her husband looks at her, still resting on the conch of questions, anxious and excited. They feel his movements together. Three sets of hands exploring her body, motivated by life's natural impetus, the forces that be. And they lie together through the night and wait.




Anonymous | 3:32 PM

that was absolutely breathtaking. Wow.

elle | 6:04 AM

It's a real shame that the PTSF blog seems to be gone now. I'd love to read more.