Sometime while sitting with my mother at the St. Joseph's Emergency room I looked at her and said, "crack heads have babies and those babies live and grow up and have lives.  How could this be happening to my Maxie?"  My Maxie was so well taken care of and so loved.  We read every book and followed every piece of Pediatric advice.  He barely left our tiny Burbank neighborhood.

And that has me thinking about all of the stupid and/or dangerous shit I have done (disclaimer - I have done some stupid shit, we will start small-ish): As a teenager, I snuck out of my friend's second story window and down her trellis to run 2 miles to a party, I have done lots of helmet sports without a helmet, I have smoked cigarettes, I have experimented with drugs, I have hitchhiked my way all over Israel and Zimbabwe, I have surfed in sharky waters, I have stood on the Israel/Gaza border while rockets were falling from the skies, I once shared a scummy hotel room in Lima, Peru with a Columbian woman I met on an airplane to save money, I took a cab to the projects in Queens in the middle of the night from Manhattan with my friend's cute older brother so he could buy marijuana...I have tried crazy foods, I have had drank strange drinks, I have traveled the globe by myself, I have taken lots of risks....and yet, I am still sitting here.  It makes no sense.  Maxie never did anything.  The most exotic thing he ever ate was Greek yogurt.  He played at daycare with 6 or 7 other kids.  He never had a babysitter that wasn't a grandmother.  He was sheltered and safe.  And, somehow I am sitting on this couch writing this and he is in the ground on the side of a mountain.  Not fair. 

Ted and I went on a boat ride in Marina Del Rey yesterday.  It was a champagne cruise I bought him for Hanukkah and finally booked a couple of months ago.  We decided it was a good idea to go, and it was.  It was a beautiful day, it was nice to be outside, it was extra nice to spend the day with my wonderful husband.  We stood on the top deck for an hour or so by ourselves while the other guests scrambled below us for the buffet.  We laughed at the fact that the boat never left the breakwater...I figured with our current luck, we would have ended up on a deserted island with these people.  There was a couple in line to board in front of us with a baby about Max's age.  Pudgy and smiley and cute and it was obvious how proud the parents were of their little girl.  My chest tightened and I panicked that we would end up having to sit next to them.  We ended up with our own table right next to them of course.  I sat with my back to them and it was actually nice watching Ted watch them with a small smile on his face, even though I know it hurt him too.

On the way to the brunch, I told him my biggest fears these days are that I won't be able to get pregnant again, that once I do get pregnant - I will spend 9 months as a nervous wreck, and that once the next baby comes, I won't be able to put him/her to sleep at night.  I worry so much that I will just watch the baby 24 hours a day to make sure that she or he keeps breathing.  I also worry that one of us will stop breathing, as I know we both will some day.  But not yet!  I want another 50 years with Ted, at least.  I want to raise children, organize family vacations,  plan birthday parties, send kids to college, watch who they become, spend as much time as possible with this man that I am so lucky to have found.  I want what Maxie should have had - a lot more time.  Is that selfish?


Tamar said...

Abby - You are such an amazing writer. We love reading your thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

Tamar and Mike

Tallie Fishburne said...

Ditto what Tamar said. These posts are beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I'm sending you lots of hugs.