the beach is burning

I pull the summer heat around me and hold it close. The eternal shivers of a hard-knock life slide off my sweaty skin that becomes browned and darker no matter how much Coppertone Sport I rub into my skin. My little cat sticks to my bare legs.

With the luxury of a little time passing, I can look back on the last three and a half years as a love story. Throughout the turmoil, I’ve woken every morning with Geoff beside me. He’s been steadfast and almost maternal in his soothing of my nerves. I do not think I’d have made it without his ministrations.

I rest my hand on my belly. Baby is still ticking along, heartbeat like galloping horses. No matter the outcome, I’ll always have these summer days. After years of skeptical anticipation, I will turn forty on Friday so I have been doing a lot of thinking about my own mortality but already I sense the day will be anticlimactic and dull.

**********

No matter how cautious I am, it’s far too easy to forget the winter. Here I am on my patio, the slight breeze soft and tender on my bare arms and legs. My belly is growing rounder and at sixteen weeks I am already impatient to feel my baby move, despite backlogged worries about my medications causing birth defects. I’ve been in the best of moods (probably due to the last dosage increase of Paxil)…

I can’t forget where I came from. There’s still a big hurt inside me, three years of trying to conceive and one by one losing each baby I was blessed with. And tracing the hurt back…in the bright sun, the scars I inflicted on my body in my youth are white and gnarled. I’m not the type of person for whom things end up well.

I can’t let go yet. I have to be vigilant. Things change so quickly.

We still haven’t told our families. I know my dad will be happy, but my mom just won’t. I want to wait until after my anatomy scan to tell her. I know she’ll say I’ll lose this baby like I have the others, and having learned things the hard way with Molly, I want to have the best amount possible of testing that prove things are progressing well. I don’t want her to have any arguments to make.

I think Geoff’s family will be happy. I hope.

Meanwhile…Geoff and I visited our friends (the only two people in town that we have told. They live way out in the sticks and have a goat and miniature cows.

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