Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Are Stardust

March is now memory.  Or is it?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been spending some time on the existential hamster wheel.  Spring is finally here – and in a gesture inclined toward seasonal solidarity I have thrown off all vestiges of facial hair.  With luck, a freshly shaven chin will help usher in a season of growth in the garden.

But it isn’t just the garden that seems to be experiencing growth.  And it isn’t only our rabbits that seem to be multiplying. 

In these past several weeks I’ve learned of three additional arrivals.  One is here, and two are expected any moment.  None are relations, but all are indeed related inasmuch as I find that their arrival impacts those around me and I am in turn changed by their arrival.  And, though I know that suffering finds roots not only at the rejection of the unpleasant but also the grasping of the pleasant, and acknowledge full well that they are not exactly “new”, I nevertheless find myself feeling joy in welcoming these friends to this particular corner of the neighborhood.

The first is a girl.  As I write this, she has not yet arrived.  But I have seen her mother, Chanel, almost every weekday for the last several years.  In fact, she is often one of the first people with whom I converse.  When I see her, she greets me with a smile and a cheerful voice:  Are you having your usual?”  And with those five words, and the promise of hot coffee in hand, my workday begins. 

A short while ago, I noticed that she wasn’t standing behind the register any longer.  Instead, she had begun propping herself up on a stool.  And it was only then that I noticed something was different. 

Now in fairness, I stand by a firm rule that I will not insinuate, suggest or acknowledge the fact of a pregnancy unless either: (i) I have been informed by the expectant mother of the pregnancy; or (ii) the child is actually crowning and assistance is required.  Standing by this rule has allowed me to avoid congratulating many not-yet-expecting mothers.  And since I am capable of embarrassing myself quite well enough without committing this particular faux-pas, I think this is a rule worth keeping.

When I saw her leaning against the stool, I almost violated this most sacred of rules.  But at the last moment my wits returned to me and I was able to reshape the question that was swirling in my mind: “Are you feeling ok?  It was a great relief when she took the bait – telling me that the baby was starting to make her feel very uncomfortable.  A few mornings later, I learned she was having a little girl.  This was helpful information, since I had already decided the child needed a blanket.  Nothing too fancy, but something with bright contrasting colors to attract the little one’s eyes.  I decided on square, with mitered corners. 

But procreation, it seemed, was in the air.  For when I was about half finished with the blanket, I found myself on the phone with a good friend and former colleague, Megan.  A few years back, I saw Megan nearly every day.  Now, I talk with her quite a lot but rarely see her in person.  And as we chatted about the crystalline beauty that is the federal regulation of securities – she seemed distracted.  In fact, she seemed unwell.  Without knowing the cause of her discomfort, I asked if she was feeling unwell.  Heartburn” she replied.  I let it pass – but, seeing as we were at the lunch hour I suggested at the end of the call that she might benefit from a bite to eat.  Wouldn’t help,” she replied.  “Pretty much anything I eat these days gives me heartburn.  But I only have about three weeks left…”. 

To say that there was a pregnant pause on the phone would be both an understatement and a bad pun.  So I will avoid such a comment.

But sure enough, when I expressed disbelief Megan confirmed the truth.  She was indeed expecting, and quite soon.   A boy.  I redoubled my efforts on the blanket – wanting to get it finished so that I could get started on something for the little fellow.  I decided on a toy, found a pattern and set to work.  The pattern is 60+ years old – originally published in a newspaper in Sydney.  And although it claims to be a bear, I think it might serve as a stand-in for a mouse.  Either way, however, I’m hopeful that the moss stitch texture will feel good in little hands.

But good things come in threes – and there was still one shoe left to drop.  For Mrs. TSMK’s mother called and began dropping hints.  A friend was becoming a great-grandmother.  It would be a little girl.  Could I make something?  Just something small – like booties.

I resisted the urge to go with booties – too pedestrian.  But the footwear theme seemed right.  So how about a pair of mary jane shoes, done in sparkly pink with a pearlescent button?  Too much?  Probably – but I had to make them anyway. 

Welcome to the neighborhood kids.  Have a good time.


1 comment:

  1. What lovely baby gifts you have made. I know they will be much appreciated and loved. The little Mary Jane's are just too sweet. I love making baby items. Nearly instant gratification. Well, except for the blankies. They can take some time. And yours is gorgeous!