Sitting down to dinner the other day, Aidan asked if he could watch TV while he ate.
“Nope,” I said, with the casualness warranted by a question we both know he knows the answer to.
Not that I hadn’t said it before but… “Because this is a time for us to be together… to connect. You can tell me stories about your day… I can tell you my stories…”
I’d hardly had a moment to register my day, what with living it at full tilt the last 11 hours.
But this wasn’t a moment to balk. One of my deepest values — and my point about dinnertime! — was on the line. I needed a story and it had to be especially good.
“Know how I found out I was pregnant with you?” I asked.
“I peed on a stick.”
“Yep. When a woman thinks she might be pregnant, there’s this special stick she can pee on to find out.”
“I know, right?”
Then I told him how we’d been waiting for him for more than a year; how I’d had my heart broken again and again; how I’d learned not to get too excited each month; how I’d gotten the stick because my doctor told me to, not because I thought I might actually be pregnant; how nervous I felt peeing on it; how I wanted to be pregnant but was too afraid to hope; how absolutely stunned I was when the “+” sign came up; how I just sat there, staring at it, letting it sink in; how, for just a moment, I didn’t want to tell anyone; how I wanted to let it just be mine for a bit — me, my body, and him; how I couldn’t stand to keep it a secret anymore; how I got cleaned up, got back in my chair, and rolled to the office; how soft my voice was, trying to speak to his dad; how I held out the stick and said, “I think we’re pregnant”; how we spent the next few minutes exhaling loudly, hugging, crying, staring blankly at each other, and exhaling some more; how we spent the few minutes after that scrutinizing the stick — “That is a +, right?”
“Yeah… yeah… It’s got the flat line and the other line… Yeah… It looks, really, like a +”; how our excitement was tempered by caution because we’d already miscarried once; how our doctor ordered blood tests to be sure — the stick can be wrong; how, last time, our numbers had been low and then dropped by half a few days later; how, this time, our numbers started above 500 and jumped to 5,000 a few days later…
“So that’s when we knew. You were definitely in there.”
“And I was teeny-tiny.”
For all his love of LEGO and Star Wars and books and TV, none of them rate against hearing stories about himself and the people he loves. Stories that let him see deeper into the world he lives in.
And one more dinnertime brought the connection I always hope it will.
There’s still room in this Saturday’s free, virtual, mini writing workshop. Why don’t you join us? You can mine some stories to share with your kids.
I know you’ll both be glad you did.
RSVP here to get connection details (or, if you’re reading this in your Inbox, click here to RSVP online).