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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Labor Pains

On Friday, I came home from work to find that Caris was busily cleaning house. I mean CLEANING. Usually around my house, it's a matter of writing "I love you" in the dust, and simply keeping things tidy. Especially now that I'm back to working; which believe me, isn't going over real well. For me anyway. I'm struggling to get back into the mindset of "This has to be done, there is no choice, so just make the best of it and try to bloom where you're planted." Needless to say, I don't always get the housework done. Not that anyone is having a problem with that. Except me of course.

Anyway, Caris is just roaring through the house like an ADD'er who's just been given Red Dye No. 2. She's vacuuming, dusting, polishing, sweeping, and mopping. At one point I went up to her in the kitchen while she was scrubbing the stovetop and pressed my lips to her forehead (it's how I check them for fevers...lips are much more sensitive than hands. Ha! Look who I'm telling. Duh.)

Me: Honey. Are you okay? You're working yourself to the bone.

Caris: I'm fine. I just thought it would be nice to bring the puppy home to a clean house.

Me: Ohhhhh. So you're nesting, huh?

Caris: What?

Me: You're nesting.

Caris: What does THAT mean?

Me: It's what expectant parents do when they're about to have a baby. Usually, women who are pregnant and very close to giving birth, get this burst of energy and start to clean everything in sight to get ready for a new baby in the house.

Caris: Well I AM expecting a new baby. So then yes, I guess I'm nesting. Did you nest when you were expecting me?

Me: I nested with all of you. But I especially remember nesting with you. Your sister was two and I remember trying desperately to figure out a way to fit the both of you into one bedroom since we only had a two bedroom apartment back then. So I moved furniture around, and pushed stuff here and there. Finally satisfied after HOURS, I stepped back into the doorway to admire my cleverness at being able to fit a little bed, a crib, a changing table, a dresser, and all those toys into one room, and suddenly, my water broke.

Caris: (laughing) Yeah, and you always say I came hard, fast, kicking, screaming, and you've paid for it ever since!

We both started laughing and then, for a second there, listening to what Caris said, I got this sense of panic. We were stepping into the realm of newness again; crying baby in the night, 3 and 4 potty outings in the wee hours, housetraining, multiple meals. Her last words just echoing in my ears with a familiar truth. And then I saw the smile leave her face and she looked at me with a twinge of fear in her eyes.

At the very same moment, we had the very same epiphany.....

Caris: Oh shit.

I walked away smiling.

Me: Welcome to motherhood Sweetie.


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