Feeble Knees

Friday, June 10, 2005

Overdoing it. A little.

The good thing about being six months pregnant is that I've got a lot of my energy back. However, that can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how stupid I am on a given day.

It wasn't the mowing that did me in. I think I could have finished that, stopped there and been OK. We have a lawn tractor and it's hardly any big deal to putt-putt around on that thing. Plus I enjoy it, it's good mind-clearing time. It's me, the sun, the breeze and the smell of grass. Granted the motor is loud and some of the corners are kind of tricky (I almost laid waste to the mailbox... again) but all in all being out on the mower is good thinking time. After I left my job last May, I rather enjoyed taking on the lawn duties during the week and I realized as the good weather finally started to roll around that I missed it. So at my last obstetrician's visit I was a good girl and asked the doctor if it was ok if I use the tractor to mow the lawn. She said "sure, no problem."

So it wasn't the mowing itself. It was probably the trimming that went a little over the edge (no pun intended). You see, once I got done mowing, there were all these raggedy, untidy edges where the grass has just been growing berserk since we put down the fertilizer. It was rather hot and muggy once the sun came out, but I'd been drinking lots of water and I figured "I can do a little maybe..." So I took out the trimmer/edger and proceeded to trim and trim and trim... around the (now slightly crooked) mailbox, around the utility boxes, in front of the big rock where I can never get close enough with the mower... then around the shrubs and trees... then a little more around the roses. By now I was getting a little beat but I figured "well there's not a whole lot more left to do...just a little more..."

So that is how it came to be that I ended up on the couch with my feet up for most of the evening and again this morning, with my wrists aching and my sides feeling rather unpleasantly stretched and sore. Mr. F. was a bit dismayed when he got home and I got "the look", along with the merest bit of a scolding. I promised to take it easy today, and so I am, as mentally uncomfortable as it may be.

It's going to be an adjustment, slowing down for a little person. It seems I've been going, going, going at a good clip for so many years now, I figure I'm probably in for the shock of my life when I realize what it's going to be like to live life with a little one in tow. I've heard other moms joke about how it takes an hour to get out of the house just to do a fifteen minute errand and all that, and it makes me wonder if I'm going to have the patience and wisdom to adjust my expectations of myself and our life accordingly.

Maybe this is what scares so many in my generation and younger about having kids. It certainly was one of my considerations for a while.

I keep thinking of a friend that I've lost touch with along the way. We used to be drinking buddies of sorts, many years ago. Her boy would have been about twelve now, had she had him, had she not given in, wracked by the severe sickness that continued unabated through her third month, had she not looked around at her circumstances and despaired that she could raise a child herself. After her abortion, the only constant in her life seemed to be change - new boyfriends, new drinking buddies, new jobs, new exploits. The last time I tried to reach her, her phone had been disconnected and there was no forwarding number. In the years following I've still not managed to get her new address from friends who somehow manage to maintain sporadic contact with her. Sometimes she drops back into the area out of the blue, here today, gone tomorrow.

Of course one wonders. I find it hard lately not to speculate. Perhaps the child wouldn't have settled her, maybe she still wouldn't have put down any roots. Maybe she would have kept pushing on trying to live a life at odds with motherhood, to the detriment of her child and herself. But then maybe he would have brought her that beautiful and transformative love that had been eluding her until then. Maybe she would have found peace with him, and a reason to stop running.

I don't know. But I think of her boy often when I think of mine. The notion of what could have been is clearer now, and much more dear.
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