I really want to have another baby. Unfortunately, I was one of those slackers who hemmed and hawed for so long before deciding I wanted to be a parent at all that I’m now afraid I might be too late for a second child. (I should have listened to you, mom!) And Jake’s deployment to Afghanistan was a year of lost opportunity, an often ignored casualty of war. Family planning is blown to bits when a spouse deploys.
It’s been five months since Jake’s been home but so far zip. Nada. Nothing. I can’t help but wonder if the well is dry. I occasionally beat myself up for waiting four whole years into a great marriage before deciding to get pregnant with my first child, as if there was something really pressing and more important to do, such as inventing a time machine or writing rambling blog posts like this.
Anymore I find myself looking for signs that fertility might be in my future. New Age-y and ridiculous, yes, but crazy, no. An anxious mind seeks soothing. I need something, anything to cling to, no matter how nebulous and illogical it may be.
My nebulous and illogical sign came in the form of a large orange pill lying in the aisle of the airplane bound for Montana last week. (The three of us were bound for vacation.) There it was, about three inches from my foot in the aisle, practically illuminated against the corporate blue carpet. How nice, I thought, some jackass dropped their mondo happy pill right in the aisle where a toddler such as mine might get it. Note to self: Don’t let June eat happy pill.
I found myself weirdly fascinated by this pill. Granted, I was sleep deprived, the plane was delayed two hours on the runway, June whined in my ear and I didn’t bring a book, so my gaze kept returning to this pill…its sheer size, its oblong shape, the way it contrasted against the blue carpet and how not one person had managed to step on it on the way to the lavatory. Finally, somewhere over Kansas, I decided it must be a sign from God telling me to stay positive and stop fretting over my likely barren, broken down and cobwebbed womb.
Comforted, I returned to my baseline fertile pacifism that goes something like this: If pregnancy happens, GREAT! If not, it just wasn’t meant to be, I’ll still have a great life and I’ll try to be the best mom I can be–cliches fertile pacifists must use to accept that the baby boat may have sailed while we’re left at the dock holding our First Response pee sticks. (I have a hard time seeing myself checking into a fertility clinic, but never say never.)
But then about an hour before the plane landed, I looked again at the pill and realized it wasn’t a pill at all, but a Tik-Tak, A freakin’ orange Tik-Tak! I felt so stupid and duped. The universe wasn’t telling me to stay positive. The universe wasn’t telling me squat except that there are apparently some people out there who still suck on these 70s-era breath pellets.
The plane eventually landed. We had missed our connection flight to Montana. There were no other flights that evening so we were forced to sleep in a two bit motel four miles away that reeked of mildew and featured way too many pubic hairs in the shower stall.
By the time we boarded our connection flight at 9:30 the next morning, I was tired and grouchy and ready to be done with this awful flight. My mood wasn’t helped when Jake was given a seat all by himself in the emergency exit row while I had to commandeer June by myself two rows ahead.
But then a miracle happened. Once airborne, I happened to look down at the aisle and there about three inches from my foot was another orange Tik Tak. Same brand. Same position. Same color. I am using italics to adequately convey how amazing this was.
I ask, what are the odds?! THE SAME TIK-TAK ON TWO DIFFERENT FLIGHTS? This was no mere coincidence. It couldn’t be. It was too perfect. Too symmetrical. Too logical in a metaphysical sort of way. The universe was trying to tell me something. I got really excited and whipped my head around to point out the existence of a higher power to Jake but realized I would have come across like an idiot to preceisly 100 percent of the people on the flight. So I stayed quiet and hunkered down in my seat and tried to cap my glee.
It wasn’t until several days later after a ten mile hike in Glacier Park that I felt I could properly explain the revelation to Jake.
“So what do you think the universe was trying to tell you?” he asked, graciously indulging me even though we both know he was zero use for anything remotely New Age-y or feng shui or involving wheatgrass.
“That I am so totally definitely going to get pregnant,” I said. ”Or I have a cosmically bad breath.”
I went out and bought a pack of orange Tik-Taks just in either case.
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