Twenty-three years ago I was on a road from nowhere to somewhere else, and of course, I had to pee. I stopped at the first place I came to, a Dairy Queen, only not the full service kind. No, this one was a walk up window for soft serve only. I got out of the car, walked up to the window and asked the guy in the paper hat where the bathroom was. He replied, “we aint got one.” This might not be an issue for most people, but it was particularly problematic for me. I was pregnant.
This guy did not fully understand the situation.
“Can’t you see I might have a baby right here, any minute? Where do YOU pee?” “We aint got no bathroom,” he said as he tried to ignore me. “No, really, I’m not kidding, where do you pee, are you telling me you never have to pee?” He pointed to the woods across the parking lot.
It wasn’t funny.
When I was pregnant, I wore combat boots and maternity BDUs to work. (no joke) Camo pants with an elastic belly band and a camo smock top. I looked like pup tent with hair. One day after work, I took my car in to have the tires rotated. After waiting two hours, I asked the mechanic standing at the service counter what was taking so long, he took one look at me and started laughing. I asked, “Where’s the ladies room?” “Sorry lady, we don’t have one, you’ll have to walk across the street.” I asked him if he knew the difference between lug nuts and his nuts, then I told him where he would find all of them if he didn’t have my car off the rack by the time I got back. I wasn’t kidding.
He stopped laughing.
My father came to visit the week before my son was born. He wanted to be there for the big day and he asked me EVERY day, “When are you gonna have that baby.” Summer was a busy time for my dad. He stayed as long as he could, but had to get back to work. So, he left. The next day, I went into labor. Eighteen and a half hours later we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our lives.
When my son was in elementary school, a kid on his baseball team showed up to practice with casts on both his arms. Someone asked what happened. The kid said he didn’t obey his mom. When his mom came to join us on the bleachers, someone repeated what her son had said. The mom laughed and explained. He broke his arm jumping out of a tree. I told him not to ride his bike with a cast on his arm. He had a wreck on his bike and broke his other arm. Later I heard my son telling this kid he’d never had a broken bone. He said the worst thing that ever happened to him was childbirth.
That was funny.
Who knows if he really did remember those eighteen long-suffering hours. He was there. It’s possible. All I know for sure is that we’re both still here. A little wiser, maybe, a little stronger, definitely, a little more alike than either one of us can stand. Hopefully someday we can laugh about it. Although probably not without peeing my pants.
Happy Birthday David. Love, Mom.