They’re popping up like mushrooms, other people’s babies. In addition to the onslaught of photos of our nephew, I see them as I walk through campus, in slings and strollers. They visit the library, the research showcase. Usually, I’m not bothered (not much, anyway) but every once in a while I feel it, that tug, that wanting that seems to start in my gut and spread through the marrow of my bones, into my fingertips, to the ends of my hair, until I am a creature entirely made up of want. It doesn’t happen so often, but when it does it leaves me shaken. I feel empty, brittle, and husk-like. And connected with that wanting is always the sad knowledge of what I had – those few moments with Teddy in my arms, such a cruelly short time, but more than enough in which to fall utterly in love.
Someone I used to be friends with (and there are a few reasons why I don’t currently consider her a friend, but the main reason is that she is the sort of person who, when she was doing missionary work in Guatemala, adopted a cute little black kitten, named him Sambo, had him de-clawed and then abandoned him when she moved back to the States) emailed me with a birth announcement. It was a boy, of course. We don’t talk more than once a year, and I’ve decided this is one baby I don’t need to hear about, so I added her email address to my spam filter. Chances are good she’ll never notice, and this is what spam filters are for, isn’t it?
Can you read between those last few lines and see it, the jealousy and the anger? Why her and not me? This type of question pops up in my head all the time in spite of my best efforts to squash it. It scares me that I’m still angry, that I may always be angry.
It snowed over the weekend (about 4 inches). Last year, I seemed to see good omens everywhere. This year, I mainly see harbingers of doom, and I try not to think too much about spring snow, about what it might symbolize if I were writing my life as a novel. It is melting, the snow, but not fast enough. I need to see crocuses in the flower beds and new leaves on the lilac bushes. This year needs a romantic comedy sort of ending, a romance novel ending, a chick-lit ending, a happy sort of fairy tale ending. And all was restored to her – this is what I want, even though it’s impossible.
With the snow and the babies, this is a harsh Monday, the kind of day I wish I could hide through, sleep through: hibernation, now there’s an idea whose time has come. But I trudge through work, I give my best fake smiles until they start to feel more real, I move through the day and hope it will be over soon.
N stopped by my office bearing chocolate this afternoon, just as I was thinking I really needed a bit of chocolate to get through the day. I am lucky, even though I’m unlucky. I am lucky, even on an unlucky Monday full of babies and snow and back-to-work ennui.