Okay, back to the story.
Your father and I met at a point when I was still emotionally beat up from PK. My fire wasn’t out, but it was definitely banked. Goodman was like a warm, fuzzy blanket that I could draw around me and lose myself in. He was like snuggling on the couch watching cartoons on a lazy Sunday morning. He was a calm, undisturbed, reservoir of peace, and I loved him for it.
Eventually, as all things do, the bruises delivered by PK to my body and my heart faded. They started scabbing over and falling away, and for a while I lost myself in loving your father.
Sometimes you find that there are things you need at a certain point in your life. And the veils you place over the bad things that happened to you, hide the things about the new relationship that aren’t healthy or strong. When I began to recover, began to get back up from the knock-down, that fire lit back up again. I burned. And I ended up burning us out.
But we’re not there yet.
Your dad and I were living in Poulsbo in a beautiful three bedroom home, on a rural tree-lined street with a beautiful yard. We camped, vacationed, worked together, loved together. It was the most peaceful time in my life. I did my best to immerse myself in domesticism, leaving all my melodrama behind me.
One day in April 2000, it occurred to me that I was late. Not late for work late, but late. Late like holy-crap-sick-feeling-in-my-stomach late. I bought a pregnancy test.
Pregnancy tests suck. It is almost inevitable that the woman will pee on herself while taking said test. Never fails. I think I must have stared at that little plus for five minutes before getting up, going into the bedroom, and sitting on the edge of the bed.
What would this mean? What would happen? Would GoodMan be excited? Scared? Pleased? Worried? Was I excited? I didn’t know. I was scared, I know that. I was feeling like this was my chance to make right what had happened before. My chance to prove that I had grown up. My second chance to make a different choice.
I wondered if we were ready. We were both employed, but weren’t making as much as I would think we would need to in order to support a family. We had bills, we had credit problems, we had just taken on a mortgage and a new car payment.
But the thing is, son, you’re never prepared to have a baby. There’s always one more aspect of your life that could be different, better, more stable. If you wait until everything is ready, you will never end up having a child. Because there is no way to prepare yourself for the financial and emotional responsibilities of having your first child. There’s just no way. You think you know, you think you have to have a huge savings account, or investments, or the white picket fence and the dog in the back yard before you could possibly even consider having a baby.
In reality, son, all you need is yourself. Because when you see that little face looking up at you for the first time, you know, deep inside where your heart is, that there is nothing you wouldn’t do to give this child everything he needs. You will go without, you will take a second job, you will do whatever it takes to make his world all that it should be.
GoodMan walked in while I was still contemplating what this meant to me and how I felt. He looked at me. I looked at him.
“I’m pregnant,” I said.
“Huh?” he said.
We looked at each other some more.
A grin started to grow on his face, and something else. Something good. Something that told me that everything was going to be all right. That we were going to be all right. He crossed the room and sat down next to me on the bed. Took my hand. I started crying. He started crying.
“Are you scared?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he replied.
“What will we do?”
Silence. Staring. Tears. Smiles.
“Be good parents.”
“Okay,” I said.
Next: chapter seventeen.