It’s a hot one out today. A scorcher. Mosquitoes are listless. My un-walked dogs lie in the shade. The tomato plants frown and droop. Thankfully, we had a new HVAC system installed this past fall, so my baby sleeps upstairs, blissfully unaware of the demanding heat.
I just got a text informing me that my husband landed safely in Africa a few hours ago. For the past 24 hours, since he left, I’ve been restless. Instead of finding solace in my old standbys: yoga, wine, and/or reading, I find myself weeding. That’s right, as in the garden. As in the cracks of cement along my driveway. As in the who-gives-a-shit-this-does-nothing-to-clean-my-house type of time-waster one usually associates with daytime soap operas. Except it feels good – so good – and I am drawn to it with an intense desire that supercedes everything else on my to-do list. There’s something guttural about the experience. On a physical level, I like having to squat and sweat and dig and get my fingers dirty; emotionally, I can sail through the normal ups and downs a second trimester pregnancy will bring you in about 20 minutes – basically, from weeping to ecstatic joy – and no one takes the brunt of it, save those spindly little leafy suckers. Admittedly – the second trimester leaves me feeling, on a daily basis, like I’m about two glasses of wine deep: quick to giggle, cry, or pee my pants at any second. Only it’s not as much fun – no soaring leaps of confidence that help me dance on coffee tables. With Josh’s trip to Tanzania, in particular, I’ve been leaning more toward the uncontrollable weeping side. If I’m going to be totally honest, I can’t tell whether the tears are drawn more from the irrational fear of something-terrible-could-happen-to-him, or from the well of jealousy that simmers just below my rosy surface. Seriously. I want to go to Africa too. Why do I have to be the one to stay home with our 13 month-old and two spastic dogs?
Obviously, I know the answer to that one; he has purpose there, I have purpose here. I just hate feeling left behind. And so, sigh, I pull weeds. Thankfully, it’s therapeutic: it does make me feel like I’m accomplishing something. It’s like I’m cleaning out the cobwebs of my yard, so-to-speak, and the progress is instantly gratifying. I may stand up from my task a little light-headed and woozy, but I’ve got ruffage in my hands and dirt under my nails. I also noticed that the seeds we planted on Mother’s Day have actually produced something edible, and I was able to harvest about twenty green beans and four radishes. (Why did we plant radishes, by the way? I know it was my idea, and I always think I’m going to like them, but either I waited too long to pluck them from the earth, or their natural disposition is simply too peppery for my taste; either way, I’m always stupidly surprised to realize that I can’t stand them).
Anyways, these uneventful days while Josh is gone will drift past in a lazy summer haze, and I should be grateful for that. I need to soak up these last few months with Dylan as my only babe before the realization that another one is one the way sinks in. Oh, and that will probably sink in the day he or she arrives, some blustery October evening, because I’ve been able to successfully make it 24 weeks without paying much attention to my growing belly. It’s not that I’m not excited about baby #2, it’s just that I’m still pretty drained from keeping up with baby #1. Luckily, the sweet child naps like a champ (thank you daycare), at which time I can get my weeding on.