Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kate Miller 44: Last Trip to Williamsburg

Only just back from Alaska and they're off again. Who wants to stay by themselves for a week, especially being 36 weeks pregnant? 

44. Last Trip to Williamsburg (July/Aug, 2013)
            July 29 – I’m in Williamsburg again while Mister is at another conference in Philadelphia. I miss him…Kate wrote in her journal as she sat in the Mortte’s guest room. It was a lovely room, blue themed, cozy, with unique German drawings and antique furniture. Kate and Mister had been home from Alaska for two days before Mister went off for another week to a conference at Bren Mawr. Kate spent a dreary night alone in their townhome, and then drove to Williamsburg on Sunday afternoon after a delightful Thai lunch with her Vietnamese friend, Hannah. It was essential to be with other people. If she must sleep by herself, at least this cozy room at the Mortte’s made Mister’s absence less obvious.
            And each day was busy. Kate had plans: morning with Jennifer Mortte (the Mortte’s son and daughter-in-law had both attended Hillsdale with Kate and Mister), afternoon with Mrs. Mortte, a nap (probably), and evening games with Jennifer and her husband. She would be in Williamsburg for 4 nights, and each day was full up with fun visiting and necessary resting.
Kate looked down at her belly, now huge and tight against the T-shirt she favored for her pajamas. It bulged on one side, then bounced and jiggled and bulged on the other side. Kate laughed, making it shake and bounce even more. She wrote, Baby is moving a LOT these days, and I actually really enjoy feeling it—much more, now that it’s obviously the baby and nothing else! It’s such a fun unique feeling. I wish I could share it more easily.
            The next day, Kate met Jennifer and her two daughters at the James River, just a minute or two down the street from their house. It was warm and sunny, and the water was cool, a perfect day to swim—at least for someone who was nearly nine months pregnant! Her general feeling for the last couple months was cast as “in favor” of cold water dunking. She rarely got to indulge herself and had to restrain herself from instantly splashing into the water the moment they arrived. They picnicked on the sand and Kate took the two-year-old Eva into the water while Jennifer watched her baby play in the sand.
            “Let’s play crocodiles!” Kate suggested.
            Eva’s eyes grew wide, and she grinned. “You’re the daddy crocodile and I can be the mommy crocodile!” Yes. Very important to establish that.
            “Okay. Do you know what crocodiles do?”
            “What?” Eva whispered, not sure if she wanted to find out,
            Kate grinned, “They roar and show all their teeth when their hungry! And I’m hungry…” Kate showed her teeth and gave an intimidating roar and thrashed about in the water.
            Eva roared and showed her teeth. They both roared at each other. Then, naturally, they settled on a location for their crocodile house, taking special care with the kitchen and the bedrooms, roaring all the while and ignoring the obvious suggestion that such hungry crocodiles would probably have found something to eat in their kitchen.
            It was such fun, but when Kate got home, she hastily drank some water, dried off, and went to bed. Her last thought as she drifted off was, I’m sooo tired. How on earth am I going to care for a baby? But when she woke, she felt refreshed and remembered (with some measure of relief) what so many people had told her: “By the time you have a two-year-old, you’ll have two years of experience...they start out much easier.”
            Kate returned home Thursday night, spending one more night alone before Mister’s return on Friday. She called Mrs. Mortte when she arrived, and duly reassured her that she hadn’t gone into labor on the drive. “Thanks again,” she said sincerely, “it’s so wonderful having you close by. It’s a real home away from home, and especially nice for me when Mister is gone.”
            “Anytime! We love having you!” Mrs. Mortte replied with enthusiasm. “And we can’t wait to meet Baby Mueller—let us know when we can come up and see you after he’s born!”
            After they hung up, this last comment haunted Kate for some time. After he’s born...! I’m sure he’ll have to be born sometime. But for the life of me, I feel as though I’ve always been pregnant and I always will be! 

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