Lovely

Today is my first day back at work and I’m still so tired, I can barely function. Mainly I’ve just been getting caught up on e-mail, reading about Philip K. Dick (more on that later), reading Lollapalooza blogs, and looking at Lolla pictures. My boss and a coworker took me out to lunch for my birthday, which was thoughtful. We went to a yummy, secret Mexican joint I didn’t know about and to which I couldn’t possibly retrace our steps without guidance.

Tonight after work, I’m going home, taking Abbs out, and going straight to bed. I’m hoping to upload all my Lolla and birthday pictures later on tonight so I can get to bloggin’ about everything. In the meantime, here’s a poem my Mom wrote for my birthday. It’s so sweet and special – I love it. And for the record, I still get the hiccups almost every day. 🙂

To [Mymsie] on Her Thirtieth Birthday

1976, the bicentennial.
Nine months,
you in my womb.

At first, we didn’t recognize
the pregnancy.
The awful car wreck the previous year,
the move to seminary,
and we thought the stress
had affected my body.

Slowly, gently, you let us know
Hello! I’m not stress, I’m your child.  
You let us know resoundingly
that first morning I drank orange juice
and something about it
sent me flying for porcelain.

You were a restful child in utero
most of the time,
nestling sedately into a ball
for much of the day
with your little feet
tucked into the crescent you shaped with your body.

Your hands and feet
were gentle and tentative,
and we followed the slight
trails of your fingertips and
toetips on my tummy as
early each day
you extended your limbs
to stretch and explore
your watery home.

When Papa placed
his big hand onto my belly
and laid his head there
to talk to you,
you drew toward
the sound and the hand
and snuggled.

But when Dr. Forbes tried
to hear your heartbeat
you sensed the difference
and simply slid to the other side
to allow room for
whatever that pressury thing was.
And when he moved it to find you,
you slid away again.
A game each visit,
trying to catch you
long enough to hear your heartbeat.
Back and forth the two of you danced.
he exclaiming
“Oh, this is going to be a fast one!”

Your little feet kicked furiously
at unwanted disturbances.

When I slid into hot bath water.
You did not like the heat,
and you expressed
your preference clearly,
extending and retracting
your little arms and legs,
an angry semaphore
of distress.
G-e-t  o-u-t  o-f  t-h-i-s  h-e-a-t!

When I sat typing at the
electric typewriter
you first retreated
to the rear
toward my spine,
trying to avoid
the loud clacker.
But then you roused
and began to retaliate,
kicking back
stroke for stroke,
each typed letter
a personal affront
to your solitude.

You had hiccups
multiple times
throughout each day
in the latter months
and my belly would boing-boing
with their intensity.
You actively resisted them,
frustrated and shifting from
side to side, top to bottom,
trying to escape the
perpetrator of those awful hics.

Two weeks before you were due
all your watery home leaked away.
The doctor saw no alarm and
told me to take it easy.
But with that
watery early-warning system
inoperable,
we worried constantly
whether we would
get to the hospital on time,
driving as we did from
[Anytown] to [Anytown].

Finally the day came and we knew,
leaving home plenty early
to allow time for the long drive.
Arriving long before time
for the hospital,
we went inside an all-night diner.
I had been told not to eat and
money was tight,
so Papa ordered coffee and
a bowl of grits.
Sipped and nibbled slowly
through that long night
to extend the lease
gained on the booth
with that cheap rent.

Once at the hospital
a few hours later
things started to happen fast.
You arrived
resisting efforts to uncurl you
from your well-practiced comma.
Peeping briefly and wincing
at the bright surgery lights,
you drew a deep breath and
distinctly cleared your throat,
practiced public speaker
that you were,
eliciting laughter from
Dr. Forbes and the nurses.

You patiently endured the necessary
weighing and medical prodding
but quickly withdrew
into your preferred punctuation,
positively purring when
they laid you under a warming light,
butt projecting as radar
for incoming disturbances.

Maya Angelou wisely noted,
  You were created in me
  and I was created for you.
Our dance began then
and continues now
And I am better for it,
and grateful for it.

Joyful and blessed birthday to my
beloved [Mymsie]
on your thirtieth birthday!

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