This is the week between when Monkey Boy was born and when we took possession of him three years ago. I hardly ever think about that week until I’m in the middle of it. Then it all comes flooding back: the hope, the worry, the fear, the digestion issues. I honestly think I got shorter and thinner during that week.
I finished knitting a blanket for Monkey Boy that week. I was absolutely certain that if I couldn’t knit, then I could not be a good mother. I have no idea why the two were so strongly linked in my head, but it was absolutely clear to me that knitting was the key to good motherhood. I took it to Yarn Mart in the Heights to get help casting off because I was having trouble. I spread it on the table when I was done, and it was just awful. The kind woman who worked there could see how important this was, I mean the fate of my child’s parentage was in the balance here. She patted my back and said, “I think it’s a very special blanket.” At the time, I took huge comfort that this 70-plus knitter thought I’d done well. Looking back, I think she meant “short-bus special” and was willing to say anything to keep me from stabbing myself with a knitting needle.
I started reading parenting books. I thought I should find out how to keep the baby alive in case he really did move in. Turns out those just made me crazier and the husband with as much kindness as a man who’s living with a deranged woman can muster, firmly demanded that I give them all to him. He put them away on a shelf, forbidding me to open them again. I opened them again about 12 weeks later and he them took away for good that time. I’ve not seen them since, which is safer for all of us.
Pregnant women and “Approved and Waiting” women do a lot of the same things the week before a child moves in with them for the first time, namely, go crazy. The difference is pregnant women get stretch marks and adoptive women get stomach ulcers.