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Jewish Journal

Almost Mother’s Day

by J.D. Smith

May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

I've really done it now. A year ago I got engaged. I made good on that promise in late July, and we have been on a honeymoon ever since.

Well, the honeymoon is over, folks. I'm here to tell you that I'm pregnant. Actually, I'm not much of anything, but my better half is pregnant. My wife went and got herself in trouble. Mother's Day has taken on a whole new meaning at my house this year.

She feels pretty lousy. She says it's like having a hangover all the time. When we were in London, we noticed that the TV weather reporter had about 100 ways of saying "cold, windy and rainy." I told Amy that she was going to have to get more creative with her physical complaints if I had to hear about it for the next nine months: "Night and morning nausea giving way to constipation in the afternoon. Expect some extreme fatigue in the early evening hours and a 60 percent chance of food aversions tonight. Dizziness expected all day tomorrow."

I feel fine. Thanks for asking. Never better.

Whatever the problem, I know that I got her into this mess, so I'm going to have to clean it up. This morning she pointed a finger and said, "You did this to me."

"Yes, but you wanted me to."

She can't believe anyone ever has a second child.

We decided to keep this news to ourselves for as long as possible, but it's not so easy to do, especially as she doesn't fit into her pants. We avoided seeing our parents to the point where it was getting just plain rude. We had plans with her father and started to work on a viable excuse a week ahead of time.

"Should I get sick?" I asked.

"No, I could have a work thing come up," she said.

To be fair, we were afraid that my mother's heart might actually explode from joy, so you could say our self-imposed silence was due to health concerns. Our plan was that I would go over to see them on a regular basis, and they'd think that they'd seen her, too. A classic misdirection. That scheme worked fine, but we had to explain to friends that she wasn't drinking wine at dinner because (we said) she was taking antibiotics for a sinus infection. The next time my mother called, we said we couldn't get together because of the nonexistent sinus infection. That poor little kid is going to come into a family of such accomplished liars.

We watched a DVD called "Life's Greatest Miracle." The little troublemaker is about 13¼8 inches long now and looks more like the creature from the movie "Alien" than it resembles either of us, with black dots for eyes, webs for hands and buds where the legs ought to be. All the cells are getting assigned jobs, not unlike choosing up sides for a softball game: "You play left field, you be a kidney."

Now that I'm pregnant, I see children everywhere. I assume that they've always been there, but they must have been in hiding until recently. Let me tell you, they're not all they're cracked up to be, these little babies. They are the most helpless mammals on the planet. Baby zebras can run with the herd. Junior's not even here yet and already it's got a lot of catching up to do.

Everyone is playing the "Guess the Sex" game. Amy gets so excited whenever anyone expresses an opinion. "A little girl!" she shrieks and waves her hands and her eyes get big and wet. She gets just as excited either way. "A little boy!" Then she polls me, and I continue to have no "gut" about it at all. Of course I'm very excited, but my opinion doesn't make a bit of difference. We'll know soon enough. Bring it on. I can't be expected to jump up and down for seven more months, it just ain't dignified.

Everyone has been so congratulatory ("Your boys can swim!") and so encouraging. My favorite response came in an e-mail from a friend back East that said: "Now your life begins again."

We've got seven months to go and already we're knocking wood and interjecting "God willing" and "God forbid" into the front of sentences. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, and there aren't any in the maternity ward either.

The baby is due on Thanksgiving Day. I put it in the calendar on my computer's Outlook program and synched it up to my Blackberry with one of those pop-up reminders so I won't forget. "Thanksgiving" is going to have a whole new meaning at my house this year, too.

Happy Mother's Day to all.

J.D. Smith is expecting @ www.carteduvin.com.

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