Today I had an interview today at work. I spent a lot of time last night figuring out which suit I would wear, which shoes, which tie. The interview wasn't until 4:30 pm so I had all day to sit and worry. I felt too well-dressed, with my conservative pleated suit pants -- pants that I profoundly hate now, and don't understand why I ever purchased, unless I was in some law-induced stupor of backwater menswear conservatism -- and the janitor told me I looked like a Kennedy cousin with my fancy clothes and the apparently boyish swoop of my bangs. The interview itself went really well. I felt like I expressed everything I wanted to, and if I missed anything it's something I never saw coming at all. I didn't know what I didn't know. At the end of the interview after I asked my questions I said, "well, that's it, thank you for coming," and the laugh that I earned seemed to represent how the whole thing went. I got a Chipotle Coke on my way home, stripped out of my suit immediately and read the New Yorker on the couch. Then L and Alice came home and there was a present for me -- Alice had colored a picture on blue construction paper, and in the middle of the page, written in marker in L's steady hand, was: "Nov. 15th."
"I'm pregnant and that's when the baby is due."
Since last summer, we have spent every month (minus two) hoping and praying that we would get pregnant. Each month has been punctuated by a few sad days when these hopes were dashed, days that became cumulatively worse as each month passed. After Alice was conceived practically immediately, this long process of waiting has been difficult. We both went to the doctor to get things checked out and everything seemed to be fine. They told us to be patient, but we (I) are not patient people. I started to worry that we couldn't have another child, and I felt guilty for feeling bad about that when we already have Alice, the greatest blessing of our lives. My first reaction to the news that L was pregnant was that we didn't have to be sad this month.
Today L had been working with Alice to teach her to say "big sister." She hadn't told me in the morning because she didn't want to distract me from today's interview, but the secret had been eating her up since she found out at 2 am last night. Her strength is unbelievable. After she told me we had a family hug that Alice scurried over to join. L had gone on the internet to figure out that November 15th due date; that means we'll have a Thanksgiving-time baby.
I was bursting with the need to tell someone when my parents called to ask about the interview. I successfully managed not to tell them. We went over to John and Anna's to tell them the good news, because I still had to tell someone. They had figured it out -- John opened the door with an expectant look, and I nodded yes. They were so excited for us. John and I had bourbon and we all had some shepherd's pie. After a while we came home (Alice pooped tremendously on the bus ride home, crooning "yucky poop" as some indulgent commuters smiled wanly) and the stress of the day receded.
I can't believe we're about to do this all over again: an impossibly tiny baby, minimal sleep, a new name for a new life. All of our conversations about jobs, moving, childcare seem completely obsolete. Game change! But all those conversations can wait for another day.
If I let myself, I become aware of the meaning and weight of today's news. The capacity for love, the responsibility, the legacy, the growth of our family, the playmate and lifelong friend for Alice. Tonight I can skirt around these ideas and know that soon we'll be thinking about them all the time. But tonight I am still struck by the idea -- L is pregnant. We don't have to be sad this month. And that relief is overwhelming.