Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Saturday Night Fever

Today, I slept in. I slept as late as I wanted for the first time in almost a month. More precisely, it’s been twenty-six days. That’s not to say that I didn’t get an adequate amount of sleep during any of those twenty-six nights, just that all of my mornings required rising at a specific time, one that wasn’t flexible enough to allow my hitting snooze more than once or twice.

Today, I laid in bed and read a book (A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson) until breakfast was ready. I ate breakfast and read yesterday’s paper and chatted with Mom. I read the letters to the editor aloud, snickering at some, nodding to others. Brooke and I stretched across the couch, and the sun moved from my end to hers while we luxuriated, still in pajamas, until lunch.

The period from lunchtime through nightfall was a mishmash of showers, superfluous grooming, lovemaking, and trail mix. We’re closing out the evening with Papa John’s pizza (it reminds her of college), Scrabble, and a surprisingly mellow and cheap merlot. Brooke thinks it must be the best Saturday on record. I’m inclined to agree.

I’m inclined to agree despite the baby-money-sperm-timing roller coaster we rode today. If the Amusement Park of Adult Concerns ever opens, tell them I’ve got some great names on hand. We hopped in the car when I remembered to note the start of my most recent cycle, and while creeping up that first creaking hill, we scrambled around three rooms and a closet to locate the cycle charts from last year. We crested the first hill to find my next ovulation occurring when our potential donors are relatively nearby. The subsequent curves, bumps, and loop-the-loops passed with discussions of money and travel and maternity leave. As always, the cart eventually slowed, and we hopped out feeling shaky and a little queasy but with the agreement that even if we had all the money in the world, it was logistically impossible this month. We most certainly don’t have all the money in the world.

So now we’re both aching with babylust from this close call, the closest we’ve ever had. I could have had my Sanna or my Benjamin. (Or was it Brian?) But we’re doing the really important stuff now: counting our beans. We’ve tallied our required costs each month (almost $2,400), and we’re researching childcare. For all the childcare work I’ve done around here, I have no idea what to expect for a childcare center or even a daycare home. Nannying, yes. The minimum around here is $10/hour, a fair wage when you consider that you’re leaving your very children in the care of one private citizen. However, that tends to reach about $2000 a month for full time care.

The bean counting yielded overwhelming numbers, numbers we already know about but don't have. Brooke is embarking simultaneously on a job hunt, a part-time nannying gig, and an application to a Master’s program in developmental something something biology. The baby is getting farther away, and my momma is too.


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