Right out the gate my Tuesday, a few weeks ago presented challenges. As I chugged cappuccino from a Grande Momma cup, The Today Show featured, before 9 AM a LIVE BIRTH! There was a woman flat on her back from popping out a real live baby! See the new dad! See the wrinkled ball of new flesh.
Ah, no thanks.
Knowing my mood wouldn’t sustain those images, I clicked the remote to CBS. It’s offering included the Greatest Super Bowl Spot ever. With that news my luck hadn’t improved, it worsened. Sadly a Super Bowl Spot, since I’d come super close to that goal, seemed the most viable.
I’d spent a mostly sleepless night thinking of my morning home visit with my social worker. Number two. That seemed okay when I mentioned this fact week to Arlene. “ I told them they can’t come back to my house,” she said defiant.“ They’ve been there enough.”
Now two days later, as I ran around my two-bedroom apartment it seemed Arlene had the better idea. This time unlike the first visit, I didn’t scrub the place antiseptically clean. The vacuum never left the hall closet. I decided to go with a version of myself closer to truth than adoptive-hopeful-parent hyperbole.
Our appointment was set for 10 AM. The buzzer rang at 9:59AM; my mascara wand was in mid air, winging toward my demur lashes. What to do? I thought after I buzzed her in? One fast coat of mascara? One last sweep of my apartment? My lashes won.
Stella came in. I realized, instantly, how much I missed her instantly. I held back giving her a hug and within a few minutes gave in. Then the dog and pony show began.
“ No I haven’t been depressed.
“Yes, I enjoy my neighbor’s baby, all babies really.”
“Yes I cry sometimes after being around William, the handsome neighbor baby down the hall”
“Yes, I help my white friends who adopted a black children navigate a world, that is, at times mean yet inquisitive about their children.”
Stella examined my paper work, and then we went to see my neighbors, and William, they’re bouncing baby boy that I love to bounce on my knee and hip, singing songs and dancing. I wanted to show Stella that I had baby connections. As we sat down in Courtney and Scott’s cozy home I said, “Stella just had a baby! “Trying to bridge the gap between strangers quickly.
“ Actually,” Stella said, “that was two years ago.”
“Good God I thought, I’ve been doing this for two years. I’d avoided counting how long I’d waited for a baby.
Now I knew.
Now I wanted to put my head in an oven.
Stella left 30 minutes later. As the elevator doors closed, I hadn’t quite made up my mind to laugh or to cry. When I went back into my appartment and discovered I’d forgotten to put out the fresh cake of hand soap, after tossing out the thin, used up chip of soap, the tears welled up in my eyes. Stella had used the bathroom. She’d seen I was soapless. Maybe I’d get a finaling grade. No Mom would forget the soap, I thought as a tear balance on my lash.
I sucked in a cool in take of air. Wipe the single loose tear away, went to the phone and ordered a deluxe sushi, shrimp tempura, eel, and spicy tuna. You have you comfort food. I have mine.