“When are you coming?” asked the elderly lady at the lab. She had just gotten her blood drawn, and I had just drunk massive amounts of tepid flat sugar-water to test my blood glucose.
I assumed that the phrase “When are you coming?” in context, must be a 95-year-old way to ask when are you due. Which is a funny thing to ask because really the baby is coming, not you, and it makes it sound as though you are in complete control. “Being due” sounds more up in the air. When are you due? Well, I’m DUE August 6. Oh yea? Well I’m COMING August 6. Just try and stop me.
“They’re fussy,” she continued. “They come when they like.” Yea, yea, don’t remind me, I thought. I suppose you can stick a pin on a calendar date but the baby really just decides one day she has overstayed her welcome — or just wants to watch LOST reruns firsthand instead of hearing it muffled through your belly — and makes her entrance. (I thought yesterday Madeline might claw her way out since I hadn’t eaten in three hours and was positively starving. The Julie Marriott Inn and Suites doesn’t always provide timely room service. And the mini bar is, appropriately, unstocked. Unless you count “sips” of Gordon’s Rahr & Sons.)
Speaking of LOST, I saw a very interesting quote from star Evangeline Lilly yesterday at the gym when I was pseudo working out. I can’t quote her verbatim, but the question posed to her was something like, “Evangeline, what will you do now that LOST is over?”
And her response, paraphrased, was, “I want a simpler life; ultimately, not the movie star life. To be a mother and writer is what I really want to do.”
And I thought, EVANGELINE LILLY, WITH HER GREAT LIPS, WANTS MY LIFE! She wants it ultimately too; all this starring on TV stuff has just been in the interim, before her real life, her ultimate life, begins. She wants to write, and she wants to be a mom. I couldn’t shake my awe: at this point in the universe, Evangeline Lilly is envious of ME. If People Magazine was really all about Writing Mothers instead of Celebrities, Evangeline Lilly would be reading MY style tips and looking at MY beach body and judging MY life decisions while pseudo working out at the gym. Astounding.
My next thought was, “Wait, a simpler life?” Evangeline, not to get all preachy up in the hizz-ouse, but we moms put up with more than a little sand in the eyes between takes.
Exhibit A: My friend who is nursing her baby boy has had to soak her boob in salt water for three days this week to help unclog a milk duct. Can you imagine trying to fix lunch or tie your shoes when you are leaning over a bowl of warm water, let alone caring for an infant and toddler? She finally had to go get it vacuumed out by a trained Boob Vacuuming Specialist, aka OB/GYN, or as she put it very technically, “poked with a needle.” There are many words I would use to describe this type of schedule, but “simple” is not one of them.
Evangeline, are you sure?
Exhibit B: I have a friend who sings in a band and travels on tour all over the country. Her toddler has been on 64 airplane flights this year, and that doesn’t count the miles traversed in the tour bus. If her little girl gets sick, she doesn’t always have her same reliable pediatrician around the corner from the neighborhood Sonic. (How I categorize all destinations is in relation to their proximity to Sonic.) Their bus caught fire last month and they had to find transportation STAT to keep up with their commitments. No, hers is not a simple life. It wouldn’t be “simple” even if my friend didn’t have a baby. But she does. And don’t get me wrong; it’s wonderful, magical, precious — but not simple.
Evangeline, are you sure?
Now, I’m being too hard on our friend from LOST. I can’t even imagine the vast complications of a celebrity life, and, on top of those complications, what must be a huge amount of angst trying to keep the complaining and venting to a minimum because everyone on planet earth is saying you have no right to complain. Evangeline is “simply” doing what all of us do: idealizing the world in which we do not yet live. Even the most glamorous and lip-tacular of us feel there is still some ultimate life out there, beyond the interim doldrums. Even if by “doldrums” you mean starring in a hit TV series. It’s hard to imagine and even harder to justify, but don’t begin to doubt for a second our great capacity for discontent.
And I say this as a guilty party. If there’s one thing I have to restrain myself from doing every Thursday in this blog, it’s complaining. I believe one of the responsibilities God gave us humans is to echo his words about the world he’s made: it is GOOD. Nature is good, life is good. Even ours. Even when it’s not.
And even, sigh, if we don’t COME on our DUE dates.
But just try and stop me.