When I heard the joy and even surprise in her voice, I leaned down to touch my mother’s stomach before trying to see if I could pick up anything from the subtle movements of her belly. I guess it was strange having both my sister and Mom waddling around town, but they looked so happy so it didn’t really matter. Mom was a bit older than the other pregnant women at the doctor’s office and she noticed that, but she flaunted her bump with just as much pride as the others. Well, it varied from day-to-day. Heck, I still found her looking at herself in the mirror—examining herself to see if she really was pregnant, to see if her shirts were really hugging a baby bump that Dad loved to rub like a crystal ball.
Now that I was older, I was able to see just how happy Mom was about having some little person floating around inside her and even occasionally using her as their very first stress reliever. I had to hand it to her—she was a real trooper to go through four pregnancies and still have a smile on her face.
"Wow, he’s moving a lot today, isn’t he?" I asked, poking Mom’s stomach playfully.
Slowly, Mom brought her hands back to her stomach and smirked. “Maybe he’s sad that he won’t see his big sister every day, so he wants to wish her lots of good luck at school.”
Part of me wanted to laugh along with her, but when I looked up into her eyes, I could see that they didn’t scream that she was excited or even angry. No, Mom’s eyes were glistening with a sort of loss. Maybe all of this felt surreal to her too, until she walked up to my room and saw that this wasn’t a summer camp or a joke. No, this was going to be my new home and I wouldn’t wake up to the smell of her homemade pancakes and waffles every morning. Man…
"I’m I-I’m alright, sweetie. I just have something in my eye." She laughed nervously, bringing her hands from her stomach and to her eyes, which were already having her silly and focused front crumble. "Better be careful here, wouldn’t want your eyes to shelter dust, right?"