Everything was in place and ready. There was expectancy in my world. A pregnant pause. If I didn’t move around very much, if I stayed calm, maybe she won’t decide to come. Please don’t, please don’t. I had my reasons. I thought about her birthday. Not the one about to happen, but the next few years. The parties with cake and ice cream. Invited guests and presents. Family. Her family. I wanted them all here for her. “Happy Birthday!” we all would cheer.
I thought, “What will her face look like? She’ll be happy, smiling. She will be if he can be there. I’ll do everything I can to make sure he will be there. Stay calm, relaxed. We’re ready for you, but not quite yet. Deep breath, that’s right, keep calm. I hold you close. Everyone else is supportive, but I give you a special support. I want him here for you too, I’ll make sure you have a family. Don’t worry, we’ll all be here for you.”
I went through my daily routine, caring for others and myself. I fixed my hair, ate meals with my mom and your brother. He was at work. Of course. Memorial Day Weekend. Park rangers are on duty, needed at their job. Especially the top ranger. He’ll always be there on this weekend and he’ll miss your party if you come now. I can’t have that. I’m staying calm. Don’t come yet. I smooth my hands over my pregnant belly as if to calm you too. Don’t get too anxious, little one. You’ll see this world soon enough.
It’s been 29 years since that Memorial Day. She waited. We are still very close, but we will never be That close again. He was there for her birthdays, the parties with cake and ice cream. The wrapped presents. I saw your happy face on the birthdays to follow: expectant. We gathered around you, your Whole family. We would wait for you, once again.
Every year I think about the expectancy. I never really had control over her arrival, but somehow my prayers were heard. He’s always heard them. He’s always been there. That’s the way with a good father.
Love surrounds you wherever your journey takes you, I want you to know that. I have my reasons.