Well, Christmas is upon us and here I am on Christmas Eve day having pulled out my red “footie” pj’s and Santa hat. They actually still fit! I think I’ll dress like a “Pregger Elf” tomorrow. Why not? Little Spark can create the Santa-inspired “bowl full of jelly” impression when s/he gets excited, too! Why not emphasize this bulbous shape in its final days? Besides, I made my partner and his mother laugh uncontrollably when I emerged wearing this, so at least I’ll be the ‘provider of mirth’ for the evening! ha!
Tomorrow night, I’ll be hosting a big veggie potluck at our house. I opted to have it here so that I could finally avoid trekking out of the house after a week that was much busier than I’d originally planned. But, now I’ve realized that hosting a party, even if you don’t have to make all the food, is yet another task altogether and my head has been spinning slightly. Well, alright, I’m being a bit dramatic. I know that everything will be fine, but combine that with the nesting instinct and my obsessive-compulsive cleaning, and you have a slightly spun-out pregger elf! Even so, I have to admit that it’s fun to feel the Christmas spirit fluttering around me, and part of that spirit is the frenzied readying!
This busy week has consisted of some writing deadlines, some recording work that I couldn’t pass up, and the presence of my Mother-in-law who has come back to stay. While she’s sleeping in her own apartment at night, she’s over at our house at 9am every day and is full of projects. She doesn’t stop moving or working in the house either, so the quiet space of my apartment has been officially usurped. I know I sound so ungrateful and I recognize how sweet her devotion to us and our space is, but my loner self starts to recoil after a few days and I may need to ask for some respite next week. Not sure how I’m going to do that. I’ll seek advice from an expert—her son. Or else, I’ll just waddle on out to a local cafe!
My only relief has been (and I’m totally embarrassed to admit it): GOSSIP GIRL. I have never been drawn to the show but Guo Jian recently told me he’d heard it was good. He discovered that all of the episodes are available online and he set me up with the links about a week ago now. When I started watching it, I couldn’t stop. It’s amazing how brainless television enables me to temporarily forget how uncomfortable I am, physically.
I’ve never been a big TV watcher. In fact, while the odd movie makes me happy, I find TV more alarmingly drug-like than movies, even though it usually consists of insipid, shallow content. When you watch a little, you just want to watch more (junk food for the mind?), and online availability of a whole series that just goes from episode to episode without commercial breaks is, well, dangerous! It’s like an opiate for one’s concentration.
But, I’m self-medicating. My brain, my mind, my spirit… I’m disappearing in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and pretending for at least an hour a day that I’m not a beached whale who is only able to rise from a reclining position by engaging in advanced rolling techniques and/or swinging, fulcrum-style leg acrobatics. Besides, it keeps me from obsessing over what feels like an ever-expanding, blimp of a body that I have no control over. It keeps me from the mirror. It keeps me from a depression that hovers just out of reach.
Don’t be afraid. That last line is just the truth. Find me a pregnant woman one week from her due date who isn’t slightly depressed as well as full of excitement–like me. I don’t think it’s possible. And if you say you were one of those women who didn’t get the slightest bit depressed during your pregnancy (especially during the final week), then I propose that you may have a selective memory!
It’s interesting to me that something I have always wanted and that I know will bring so much joy—to become a Mother—has come with such dark times throughout these nine months. As you know by my previous writings, I have guilt about that truth too, considering how many people struggle with fertility issues.
It’s especially interesting to me because I am not one who has a history of depression and I previously could never relate to others who had. Now, some of this experience of pregnancy has pushed me to dark places and I’ve had to fight hard to keep myself from tumbling in. Most of that darkness happened at the beginning when I felt so crummy all the time, but like the way a day begins in darkness and ends in darkness, perhaps the sun is setting on this experience by bringing me back to where it all began. Because, of course, it is accompanied again with feeling crummy all the time, too.
We end up where we start.
In all things.
Christmas cheer will help, though. A few kids are coming tomorrow and it’s so fun to see kids at Christmas. Speaking of kids, I made Guo Jian set aside time to help set up the Christmas tree on Thursday, insisting that it was part of the tradition. Despite his desire to listen to reggae music rather than Christmas music while we were setting it up, both he and his Mother (and cousin who was visiting for dinner) got into the experience with gusto. Out little tree looks great! It brought our space one step closer to being ready for the party.
There are three kids who will be coming to the party, all under the age of five. Guo Jian was put in charge of buying some kid presents and yesterday he came home all excited to show me what he had picked up. They were a variety of toy cars and trucks and airplanes that he began playing with immediately on the apartment floor while simultaneously exclaiming about their “awesomeness.” Some kids are kids forever!
And this outfit proves that I’m one of them. Hurrah!