Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)
TITLE: How? Oh, No!
By Michael Joshua
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I pressed the pause button on the remote and got up from the recliner when I heard my name. As I walked toward our room, I heard my wife’s voice - “Danny?” coming from the bathroom. I turned the corner and looked through the half-open door to see my wife sitting at the mirror on her makeup stool with her head in one hand and something else in the other one…
It dawned on me that it was a home pregnancy test before she even looked up at me. Her eyes were red and anxiety showed on her face.
“Oh, no,” was all I said.
“Oh, no,” I said again. Then I realized that I repeated myself.
“Danny, how could this have happened?”
I slumped to the floor and just shook my head.
“What will we tell the kids?”
Our kids, now that was another issue. They were 30, 28 and 27 – all with children of their own. How were we going to tell the grandkids that we were going to have a baby? How did this happen?
“Honey, are you even up to a pregnancy? You’re going to be 53 in three days.”
With a look that could have turned butter, my wife didn’t respond.
“Sorry,” I said. “Let’s go to the kitchen and talk about it.”
As I stepped into the hallway, I remembered the game was still on TV. Without a second thought, I clicked the “off” button on the remote and threw it on the couch.
“I have the paper, and a pencil.”
With that, she drew a line down the middle of the page and wrote “PROS” on the top right and “CONS” on the top left. We have done ‘pros and cons’ lists for the 33 years of our marriage. It always worked, so it had become automatic for us.
She started, “PROS – new life, blessing, laughter, fresh start…”
I continued, “CONS – crying, diapers, expensive baby food, baby furniture, daycare, loss of freedom…” as my voice trailed off, I saw my wife’s eyes tearing up.
“PROS – kissing boo-boos, school plays, patter of little feet, tiny hands, hearing ‘mama’…”
“CONS – I’ll need to sell my two-seater, give up my den for a nursery…” I slumped down in my chair.
When I looked up, my wife was no longer at the table. I heard her sobbing in the guest bathroom.
I walked in, she stood at the mirror, her reflection was well … sad. I stood looking over her shoulder and put my hands on her upper arms. I turned her face toward mine and said – “PROS – new life, blessing from God, someone new to love.”
She hugged me tighter than she had in a good many years. We stood there, the tears fell – as we pulled apart and looked at one another, we both said, “It will be ok.”
We walked into my den, and marked off how the furniture could be laid out, where we would place the CD player that would play classical music to help him or her fall off to sleep, which outlet would have the nightlight… As we talked, we each became more animated with the planning process. We could do this, after all, we had done it before.
“And here, this is where I want the rocker, where I will nurse the baby.” I smiled at her joy and nodded.
“Wake up, Danny. You’re talking in your sleep again.”
I turned, and opened one eye. Seeing my wife look at me from the other side of the bed, I opened the other eye. I reached across the dog, found her hand and squeezed it.
“What were you dreaming about, honey?”
“I don’t really remember, sweetie.”
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