Monday, April 02, 2007

Getting Better All the Time

March came and went, alternating lions and lambs, and not a word from me. And people who know about it, but not what it's like, ask "how are you feeling?" Since I know (now) what a miscarriage is like, but also that it can be gotten through, if not over, I think they are referring to the cold that took too long to go away or the allergies that are causing me to cringe and roll my eyes at cherry blossoms. Then I remember. "Oh. That. Things are . . . getting back to normal." And I smile, because I don't think they really want to know that, at the sight of what I have sometimes called "the damn spot," I almost cried with joy and relief. I'm not broken, at least not anymore. Now I can move on, on to more waiting and wondering and considerable fear, but for now I don't feel like I'm stationary, casting a rueful eye over my shoulder at another tearful February.

That doesn't mean it's over, but it also doesn't mean that's all there's been. Another new job, another thing that makes me cringe. "So, Christina," my grandfather asked this weekend, rolling the 'r' as always, "how is the job?" He always asks me this, and although he is prone to interject memories of his days working with engineers, he always listens. Sheepishly I told him, and everyone else, that it's new (again) but I don't hate it. I am with a company who seems to want me to stick around for a while, with a supervisor who asked me, in my third week at work, "Is this really what you want to do? Because if it isn't, we can find a way to something else." It occurred to me that maybe, in these nearly five years after college, all I've been looking for is someone who deserved my loyalty. It would be really nice not to update my resume for a while.

The weekend was heavy on family time. My little sister spent the weekend with us, kind of. The Boy and I attended her concert on Friday, along with her boyfriend. (And it took all I had not to type that in quotation marks.) He has the hairstyle, so popular with teenage boys, that causes him to flip his hair out of his eyes constantly. He does this often, somehow while attempting not to move his neck. It would be funny, except at the end of the night this guy hugged my sister. He tells her, she says, that she doesn't need to wear makeup. He sings Rascal Flatts' "Fast Cars and Freedom" to her. At dinner after the concert, when everyone got up from our table to go to the salad bar, The Boy pleaded for me not to leave him alone with the boyfriend. "So, I heard you wrote a poem," I said, alluding to the way she said he asked her to be his girlfriend.


"I was impressed when I heard that," I faked a smile. He flipped his hair to reveal one surprisingly blue eye. "Don't worry, she didn't read it to me."

"Yeah," he sniffed, "I'm not worried." And then I gave up.

Thinking about it now, I know what I should have said is much different than what I did say. Which is frequently the problem with me, leaving me to wonder why I have so many people who are still willing to love me. Instead of saying "you're not supposed to be dating," or "he has a stupid haircut," I should have said, "what does it mean to have a boyfriend?" or "what is it that you like about him?" Instead of rattling off reasons why too-young girls give blowjobs and the ominous outcomes this behavior, I should have said, "I'm worried about you, because I know how boys can be, but I know this is an exciting time. I want you to be able to come to me about anything." Well, maybe I could have said that in addition to the blowjob thing. Hopefully she'll give me another chance.

Mostly we rode around. Between a lacrosse game and our grandmother's 75th birthday party and an outlet mall and my house, where The Boy was waiting for Appetizer Night. A few months ago, while we rode from and to similar destinations, she told me, "It's one of my favorite things, riding around with you." So maybe I need to worry less and drive more, with a precocious and terrifyingly beautiful passenger who's still just a kid who looks up to her big sister and doesn't care where we're going as long as she gets to pick the music.
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