I don’t know about where you are, but here it’s the hottest week of the summer, more or less. On the radio last week, someone called it “deep summer,” and I’d never heard that term before but it seems exactly right.
The garden drinks everything we give it and wants more. Every day, a handful of cherry tomatoes turns red enough to pick. One of our two pear trees drops its hard, stunted fruit for lack of water. In front of our house, kids scuff by in flip-flops on their way to the pool at the park, towels over their shoulders.
A was diagnosed with Lyme disease this weekend—which isn’t as bad as it sounds, as they caught it before the painful and unpleasant symptoms emerged, but still feels like another sign that everything’s langorous and perched between ripeness and rot.
My belly is big and low and hangs out indecently from under all but the most giant, uncomfortable shirts. I walk very, very slowly, and my hands are so swollen my wedding ring is cutting a neat circle into my ring finger. The baby moves all the time, but more and more gently, running out of room. I eat raw almonds and drink ice water, willing down the heartburn.
Ingrid sits in what’s left of my lap, her head on my shoulder and her arm on top of my belly. I can feel the baby moving. I think that’s the foot. And that’s Mama’s belly button. It’s so big and squishy!
We’re all just waiting. I’m done with work. I was so convinced the baby would come early, I didn’t make many plans for these days. We walk to the river, visit a waterfall, soak in the wading pool in the backyard. We make predictions, all wrong so far: It’ll happen on the full moon. The day after my due date. After a spicy meal. The night the doctor who delivered Ingrid is on call. We reconsider our name decision, add a whole new girl name right at the top of the list. I knit. I parse potential early labor signs: Irritability? Increased ear wax production? Carbohydrate cravings? The phone rings again and again. Not yet. We’ll let you know.