by thea marie
A journal entry composed from a prompt for the "Anything Goes" Contest
|Jan. 28, 2004 1:27 P.M.
I thought I’d sit down and write while I have a few free undisturbed moments. They don't happen that often these days.
I’ve just come from upstairs, supervising the little pirate as she scrubbed off the pickle-colored crocodile she’d drawn in crayon on her bedroom wall. Now she’s taking a much-needed nap- for both of us.
She had only been in her room for a little while, playing alone as I worked on an article for which the deadline is getting close. By the time I made it up there to check on her, along with the art work on the wall, I found that she had done her toenails as well with a sapphire blue marker. Thank God, it was a washable marker.
Evidently she had also picked at the scab on her knee until it bled. There were several smears on the unwisely chosen ivory carpet covering her bedroom floor. I have to give her credit, though. She’d had the presence of mind to go into her bathroom to wash her knee and to get a rag to try to clean the carpet, which only stained it worse. How the checker got stuck in the drain of the sink in the meantime, I don’t know. I didn’t bother to ask. The sorry state of the bedroom had me numb, and the pitiful look in those china blue, saucer eyes, complete with those long eyelashes, all a gift from her father, was too precious for me to fuss.
Four years ago, I didn’t know that such things as fluorescent crayons existed. In my day, there were only standard colors. If you were a lucky kid, you had that box of a hundred crayons in different shades of those standard colors. Now you can get crayons in any hue in the spectrum, including a box specifically designed to reflect ethnic differences when drawing people. It wasn’t until four years ago, when told I had unexpectedly hit the baby jackpot at the age of thirty-nine, that this whole new little people’s world opened up to me.
In my free-lance writing work, I have traveled all over the world practicing my craft. I’ve lived everywhere, done so many things, and met so many people, but nothing could have prepared me for this one little girl. Until she sneaked up on me and eased her way into my life, I’d always thought a child of my own would be a noose around my creative neck.
It wasn’t until after our engagement had been announced that the subject of having children came up. I was honest with Chuck about how I felt, earnestly praying that this man of my dreams would still want me. He did, but even though he didn't say it, I could tell that he was disappointed.
For ten years, it was just us, and despite our not having children, or perhaps because we didn't; the marriage, our love affair, was very good. But now, I'm forced to admit, it’s even better. We have come full circle, and with her, we are complete. I’ve never been universally crazy about children, but if I had known that I would love my own so much, and that she would bring her father so much joy, I might have done this sooner.
But then again, maybe I wouldn’t have. Maybe as a younger woman I wouldn’t have been ready to share my life and her father with her as I am at this point. I clearly remember the day we made her, outside in the gazebo out back. It had been an unusually tender and special time between us, getting back together after a brief, but necessary period of business separation. We have always been good together, but that time was especially so.
It wasn’t until two months later when I suddenly threw up on his shoes that we suspected just how special a time it had been. I knew at that moment I was pregnant, I knew in my heart that the child was girl, but I was scared to death that I wouldn't know how to love her.
She dropped off to sleep while I was reading to her the story she had picked out. Watching that little broomstick legged girl, with the lava colored, curly hair as she slept, listening to her soft, contented snore; a lullaby softly strummed on the violin in my heart. I love her so. I have since the first momemt I held her. She’s a mess, but she’s my mess.
"Everything in its on time." My mother used to tell me.
“Good things come to those who wait.” She would say to me when I was being my usual impatient self.
Well, I really wasn’t waiting for my daughter, but she came to me anyway. With her noise, her toys, her little friends, her attitudes, her laughter, her joy; she has colored my life in shades that I never knew went together- that I never would have dared put together on my own. Instead of tethering herself to me or locking me down, she has instead opened more doors of discovery.
And despite the changes she’s brought into my life, I am gratified that someone saw fit to send her to me when they did.
I’d better go now. I have a deadline to make. She’ll soon be awake, starting on some new adventure upon which her mother will no doubt have to accompany her.