Christmas Eve 1986
Wrapping my arms around my middle, I hugged the sweet knowledge to myself. I imagined I could even
feel a fluttering inside already, although I knew that was impossible. It was too soon of course. I squirmed
in my seat like a ten year old about to enter Disneyland. The woman sitting on the opposite side of the
waiting room darted a glance up from her magazine, and I willed myself to be composed. She looked
about twenty five and she was very pregnant. For a moment I felt a familiar twinge of jealousy, but quickly
pushed it away. The old patterns would need to change. If I was truly pregnant, I would finally be able to
look at other mommies-to-be and feel a sense of kinship instead of sadness or even anger. Joy simmered,
and I gave the woman a companionable smile.
Casually crossing my legs, I smoothed my navy slacks, brushing off a spot of salt that lingered from my
walk through the slush outside. My navy loafers were soaked, a testament to my reluctance to wear boots.
Although I had lived in
Illinois all of my life, I had a stubborn resistance to wearing winter clothing. It had
been snowing for hours, and the road crews were working overtime to make sure everyone could make it
home for the holidays. Another wave of excitement shivered through me. Pregnant, and on Christmas Eve,
‘It’s perfect.’ My lips curved in an irrepressible grin. The memories of eight years of trying to conceive,
several surgeries and months of fertility drugs faded away in the miracle of the moment. None of it
mattered now. All that was important was that tonight I would be giving my husband the gift of a lifetime.
On the floor next to me, a little girl of about three rummaged through the meager contents of a toy box.
Legos quickly littered the floor as she dug deep for her prize. I smiled as I watched the little girl pull out a
purple dinosaur and give it a hug. What was the dinosaur’s name? I realized that I would soon be very
familiar with the dinosaur and many other characters. But I was a traditionalist. Visions of a nursery
inhabited by Pooh and his friends teased my mind.
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