Kathryn rolled her body forward, carefully rocking to propel herself to her feet. "I'm a whale," she said. "I was fine during the first pregnancy, but this one... I'm a whale." She hobbled to the kitchen to get a handful of Cheerios for her daughter. She snuggled her daughter then eased herself back down on the living room floor beside me.
As she changed position to try to take the pressure off of her back, I joked "Maybe you'll go into labor tonight! I'll catch him!"
"He's still cooking," she said, lovingly tracing her hand over her belly. "He has time."
Weeks earlier, waiting for the elevator at work with my supervisor, she turned to me and whispered, "I feel like I may be pregnant." These words held the hope of years behind them—Erika and her husband, and everything they had yearned for for so long, all in those words. In time, that impression proved true and glorious. Even her unborn child began fluttering about earlier than most, reassuring her that this is real. Erika glows with that hope and reassurance daily.
I am not yet a mother. It is something I hope for, but there is no timeline, no lover, and only a glimpse of possibility. It is a someday.
But some of my most sacred experiences have been connected to that possibility.
I don't remember all of the physical gifts I received for my birthday this year, but I do remember the gift my mom gave me: a three-page handwritten letter sharing some of her favorite memories of my childhood and the blessings she has felt from our relationship. I received the package in the mail right as I was about to leave for work. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot, my schedule suddenly unimportant, and straining to read the words through my tears.
My mother treasures and loves me, and there is not a bit of doubt in my mind or heart about that.