“So, we are trying?’ I ask, and he smiles. “Do or do not… there is no try,” he says, and it takes me a minute to realize he is quoting Yoda. Of course he is. I raise an eyebrow, give him a hip bump while we are standing at the kitchen counter, and turn to look for the girls. Our house is small, it does not take me long to find them – one underfoot, one reading on the couch, one sitting under the kitchen table with her Barbies, undressing them and then wailing for help putting their clothes back on.
Trying. What a loaded word. We are trying for so many things. We are trying to plan our escape to the country. We are trying to make do with one income. We are trying to teach our children the meaning of the words wealth, value, and worth. We are trying to find the other “sparkle shoe” under a mountain of clothes. We are trying to live small, with big dreams. We are trying to see into the future, to not borrow sorrow from tomorrow, and to forgive our past mistakes. We are trying to get dinner on the table on time. We are trying to complete our family, to welcome a fourth child into our crazy little clan, and then keep them all alive into adulthood, so they can change the world for the better.
We are trying.
(No picture today, I dropped my camera on a field trip to the fire station, and may have finally broken it. Five years is not bad for a little Kodak point and shoot, bought on our honeymoon when I dropped our other camera.)
I hated the fact that they had planned me, she had taken
a cardboard out of his shirt from the laundry
as if sliding the backbone up out of his body,
and made a chart of the month and put
her temperature on it, rising and falling,
to know the day to make me–I would have
liked to have been conceived in heat,
in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex,
not on cardboard, the little x on the
rising line that did not fall again.
But when a friend was pouring wine
and said that I seem to have been a child who had been wanted,
I took the wine against my lips
as if my mouth were moving along
that valved wall in my mother’s body, she was
bearing down, and then breathing from the mask, and then
bearing down, pressing me out into
the world that was not enough for her without me in it,
not the moon, the sun, Orion
cartwheeling across the dark, not
the earth, the sea–none of it
was enough, for her, without me.