Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hold Me

So I'm in that final sprint of pregnancy--the part where your body is so imbalanced there is simply no way to feel comfortable. Can't walk without a waddle, can't sleep without every pillow positioned just right, can't bend, lift, hold, carry, or bring grace to any position. Even breathing is somewhat compromised with what I'm told is a nine to ten pound tenant taking up more than his share of space. 21 days. Only 21 days. I can do this.

But of course, just cause mama's bursting at the seams and exhausted five minutes into the day doesn't mean life slows down, and this week brought with it a virus that one by one has attacked the whole family. Two days ago I was at the doctor for my daughter's double ear infection while my husband was home sick with the worst of it. My two year old was running wild as I was at the pharmacy counter trying to pay for the prescription, and in an effort to settle him down, I asked:
"Do you want me to hold you?"

I had barely even noticed an older man standing beside me when he responded without missing a beat:
"Well, that'd be nice, but I don't even know you."

I looked over at him in surprise, and as his joke registered, I burst into laughter. He apologized for his "bad joke." But I insisted "It wasn't a bad joke, it was hilarious!" And I meant it. Because in two seconds flat, he had de-stressed the dynamic of the situation, and put perspective back into my day. Here I was so tightly wound in my haggard state of hugeness and sleeplessness, trying to care for a sick little family while at the same time ready to pop with yet another dependent, and feeling the weight of it all----and all it took was one small sentence from one witty stranger to lift my day, my spirits, and enable me to endure those last five minutes at the pharmacy, which was perhaps the greatest gift of all.