Well, hi there.
Yes, it has been a while.
Not to pull the “movie” card or anything, but if you recall my post about my missing tooth and borrowing a teenager’s underpants, I have been out of my mind busy writing a movie. (I just pulled the “movie” card. And it was so gratifying.)
I would like to begin my re-entry into your world with this:
I made this fetching little picture of my grotesquely distended abdomen for one of my Nickelodeon videos recently, but it will do double duty today as the intro for something wonderful that I found at Mama Rose’s house last week.
Ten and a half years ago, I was pregnant with my first child at the spring-poultry age of 40 and I wrote the following story while I was on bed rest for six weeks. The story disappeared when my computer and my external hard drive both croaked and I’ve been sad for the past ten and half years that it was lost forever, forgetting that I had sent a copy to Mama Rose who keeps everything. EVERYTHING. In fact, Mama Rose keeps so much of everything that she didn’t even remember herself that she had the story; I came across it accidentally, wedged in between some drawings of Underdog that I’d done when I was five years old, and a 1974 police affidavit exonerating my father from charges that he knowingly helped transport a stolen RCA television for my mother’s waitress friend Lois’ ex-boyfriend, Jimmy, all of which caused Mama Rose to muse, “Wow, I really do keep everything. I’m one shelf short of a hoarder.”
So without further ado, the ten and a half-year old tale that I wrote for my womb.
Once upon a time there was a Mom who had a daughter named Roselita. Mom loved Roselita very much and Roselita loved Mom very much. They were very close. Mom would sing to Roselita and talk to her about God and Roselita would squirm happily and run and kick her little legs to show Mom that she loved being sung to and told about God. At least… that’s what Mom thought.
You see, they actually hadn’t met yet. Roselita was being carried around in Mom’s tummy, which made it difficult for them to hold a legitimate conversation, so they had to improvise. Mom would talk to Roselita and Roselita would kick Mom’s vital organs. Normally, kicking someone’s vital organs is not a good way to answer someone or tell them that you love them and in some states it’s actually considered a crime, but for Mom and Roselita, it worked. And sometimes Roselita, to show her love, would kick Mom really really hard and Mom would say “Ow” and bend over. Oh, well. Sometimes love hurts. At least… that’s what Mom thought.
And so it happened that one day Mom’s doctor told Mom that to help Roselita grow strong inside her tummy, she would have to sit on a couch and stay there for a while. How long, asked Mom. Oh, about six weeks, said the doctor. Wow, said Mom, six weeks is, like, 45 days. Yes, said the doctor and thought to himself how lucky Roselita was to have a Mom who could count so well. Of course there wasn’t anything Mom wouldn’t do for Roselita, so she sat on a couch just like the doctor said. After one day of sitting on a couch Mom thought, wow, 44 more of these. And Roselita kicked to show that she appreciated Mom sitting on the couch for so long so that she could grow strong. At least… that’s what Mom liked to think.
After 5 days of sitting on a couch, Mom started to hallucinate. She imagined that she and Roselita were running through the sky hand in hand naked. She imagined that Roselita was doing gymnastics and had a prolonged uneven bars routine that she needed to practice at 1am. She imagined that Roselita was going to rip right through the skin on her stomach and slither away like in the “Alien” movie. Basically Mom was going a little crazy. But she had heard that loving someone as much as she loved Roselita would make a person go a little crazy, so she wasn’t too worried. Besides, she liked crazy people and hoped that Roselita would be a little crazy, you know, just enough to be interesting. And just when Mom thought that, Roselita put her foot on the inside of Mom’s tummy and pushed it out so hard that Mom could see the outline of her toes, to show Mom that she would, indeed, be a little crazy and they would have a very delightful time together once they met. At least… that’s what Mom was hoping for.
After 13 days of sitting on a couch, Mom got a little hysterical. She imagined that Roselita would not like her one bit once they actually did meet and wouldn’t care that Mom had sat on a couch for 45 days so that Roselita could grow strong. Of course, Mom knew what to do when she got hysterical like that. She prayed to God that Roselita would like her just a little bit and appreciate her sitting on a couch for 45 days and that Roselita would think Mom was a big fat hero. And God said, you would probably do better to love Roselita than worry about her hero-worshipping you and then maybe you won’t be so hysterical. Now Mom knew that God doesn’t really talk to you in sentences inside your head like that; sometimes he just gives you something called common sense. And that really works wonders for a Mom who has been sitting on a couch for 13 days and has 32 more to go. At least… that’s what Mom told herself so she wouldn’t have a raging panic attack.
And so it happened that 45 days passed and Mom’s doctor told her that she could stand up on her feet again and even go outside. Mom was very happy because outside there are no couches, and Roselita was very very happy because she was now very very strong and could kick Mom so hard that Mom had to plop down on the curb to breathe and wish she had a couch to sit on. And Mom was very very very happy because she realized that it didn’t matter whether Roselita ever knew that she had sat on a couch for 45 days so that Roselita could grow strong because all that mattered was that Roselita was strong now and when she came out, they would have a very wonderful meeting. Because God was right, if you think about loving others first, you don’t get so worked up about them appreciating you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that someday Mom wouldn’t use the couch-sitting story to make Roselita feel guilty about how much her mother suffered for her, so please make the right decisions in life and don’t do stupid stuff so that those 45 days of torture were in vain. And Roselita will roll her eyes and make her own decisions, which may or may not be stupid, but maybe somewhere in the back of her mind she will remember that she was loved so much that someone sat on a couch and stared at a wall for 45 days and maybe that will help her know how much she’s worth to Mom, and to God. At least… that’s what Mom thought as she sat on a couch for 45 days and waited for the love of her life to come meet her.