In the dark, I measure with my hands. I have used my hands to measure a lot of things. . .spacing between plants when transplanting a garden, the width of doorways, the size of pumpkins. Right now, they’re measuring the space between my bones, touching my ribs and not even reaching to find my hip-bones. I span from hip crest to hip crest, and my hands know it is a very small space. My torso is very short.
But I don’t care. A baby would still fit. Oh, it would grow out–away from me, the only place where there would be room.
I don’t have a baby in there, but too many of my friends do. Laying under the blankets, I want. But somehow–when I imagine that baby growing out, that baby actually being in my hands–I suddenly realize, too, the truth of my thoughts. Any longed for child–from the minute I held in my hands–from before, even–I would be preparing to leave me. To send off the one I’ve wanted for so long.
It is one thing to say, as a daughter, that mothers need to let go. But as one longing to be a mother, it suddenly seems terribly unfair. All that wanting, all that waiting, and my only real job would be to bring it to a point it could stand on it’s own and step away from me, not looking back but looking out at the world it was sent into.
I guess this is what they call bittersweet, like Middle Earth–so beautiful, and so passing.
I want it anyway.