Essay: The Impossible
How could anyone, let alone myself, predict I would be faced with the idea of having a third child eight years after the last one? The idea of pregnancy alone was enough to send me running through the woods, pulling out my hair, and screaming like a banshee. It was impossible, unendurable, absolutely – NO WAY was this going to happen.
Except it did.
Could it be a souvenir from a New Year’s celebration, the result of one too many bottles of wine? That’s right, I didn’t say “glasses,” I said bottles! Front page news: Couple found guilty of carelessness due to inebriation. Maybe there should be a designated driver for sex - someone who is required to remain sober and lucid. When responding to inquiries about the conception and what happened, we informed the general public that we just didn’t have a clue – and that is the gospel truth. Surely, this was the immaculate conception. The event which resulted in much hooting and hollering from sea-to-shining-sea.
Contributing further to our blessed event was my failure to convince hubby we were done having children and that it was his duty as a man to have a vasectomy. For goodness sake, hadn’t I done my “time?” Hadn’t I birthed the other two children, puked through the pregnancies, stayed home with them for five years, put my career and education on hold, plus been responsible for birth control our whole relationship? Didn’t I get credit for thirteen years of hormones and devices? My normally successful powers of persuasion having failed for three years, I should have known the only way to convince him was to actually GET PREGNANT! After watching me retch for eight months, visiting me at the hospital during five admissions, running our older children about, attending to all housework, and waiting on me hand and foot convinced him of that which I could not – HE couldn’t survive another pregnancy! He was required to “show and tell” after the procedure so I would be assured that he had actually gone through with it.
Lest you be judgmental, did you or your parents or one of your friends have a late-in-life or “surprise” baby, too? Apparently there is a pandemic spreading throughout the land. The announcements are received with CONDOLENCES and assurances that these unplanned beings will be “angels” and “fit right into the family.” Assured now that I was not the only idiot on the planet (not that that helped much), I began to look at the bigger picture. Maybe there was a greater meaning behind this event and maybe I would figure it out. Of course, that would require my being able to lift my head off the porcelain throne to think, so the process took quite some time. Eventually, however, I understood that the Universe did have a bigger plan for me. Bigger, even, than the one I had had for my own life. Apparently, I was meant to have another child and raise that child to be open-minded, fair and empathetic to the world and all its inhabitants. Surely bringing forth such a being was more important than my teaching art to elementary students or finishing my long strung out (due to the previous two children) art degree.
After emerging from the quagmire of disbelief, trudging through the swamp of a horrendous pregnancy, surviving the black pit of sleepless nights (entertaining myself with crochet of all things), I have come out into the light with a beautiful being we call Claire which means “bright and shining.” In art we say you cannot view light without the dark. This analogy applies to my resolution that this situation was “meant to be” and so was wee Claire. For she truly is an ANGEL and does “fit right into our family.” I look forward to seeing what she will offer this world and know that it is a better place for containing her new spirit.