Our old apartment, three years ago, was a loft sort of thing, the attic of a three flat with slanted walls and a huge storage area with a washer and dryer in it. It wasn't well sealed off so we were always getting creatures in the storage space when it got cold or rainy; a squirrel mom made a nest for her babies in our easter baskets, and a sparrow made a nest behind our dryer.
One night, a few days after the handyman had come in to seal the attic off once and for all, we heard tiny, high
pitched chirping from behind the dryer. The eggs had hatched and the sparrow mom couldn't get back in. The babies
were all gangly and underfed, no feathers yet, just hideous, rinkly, leatherlike skin. I scooped them up, knowing the
mom wouldn't be back, and put them in a little basket filled with torn up tissues.
It was JUST THEN that Brian said
"Don't do this. Don't get attached to these birds. They aren't going to make it."
Being the dreamy, fairy tale, literary type, I scoffed. Of course they were going to make it. I was going to feed them and they would live with us, sitting on my shoulder as I cooked, or delivering messages to friends and coming back with little rolled up notes. They would ride on the dog's back around the house, and sing us awake in the morning.
I called an emergency vet and asked what I should do. The vet assured me they weren't going to make it, but to keep
them warm, and feed them mushed up animal crackers mixed with water.
So I fed them and they slept and pooped, and I thought,
"I'm taking care of these birds, and everyone is wrong, they're going to live!" And I held them in my hands and petted their necks while they nestled against my breast.
And I kept petting them as they stopped breathing and moving and both of them died only two hours later. And I cried of course. I cried that I couldn't save them, even though I'd done all I could. And Brian hugged me and told me he was sorry and he knew how sad it was, and not once did he say "I told you so."
Anyway. Ever since about July I've been making plans of how I was going to tell our family I was pregnant. It was going to be at Christmas. I was going to wrap empty picture frames with post it notes that said "pictures to follow in nine months". I was going to tell everyone that we had MADE them something for Christmas...wink wink.
And each month went by and I wasn't pregnant and like Homer Simpson with the suckling pig, I bravely smiled and
said "it's still good! It's still good!" Even this month, when my woman's intuition ASSURED me that this was the time, the place, the moment: I agreed with the cosmos that THANKSGIVING was the ideal time to discover you're
pregnant. This Christmas would surely be the best Christmas ever, as I greeted my parents at the snowy doorstep with pink cheeks and braided pigtails and held my arms out and said; "LOOK AT ME! I'M GLOWING". And I would gladly puke and have backaches and headaches and swollen feet and rub my belly absentmindedly while people talked.
And Brian said,
"Don't set yourself up for a big fall. Please."
And, being a woman, with women's intuition, I scoffed and said
"I just know. I FEEL it. I can tell."
And of course, this morning, as I sit here doubled over with cramps, I realized that I was wrong. And I am rubbing my belly absentmindedly while other people talk, but it's only because I'm still petting a little baby that isn't there.
And Brian never once said "I told you so."