I feel like I haven't been around this blog lately. I've been posting some stuff on and off for the last few days, but it's been a combination of things I wrote ages ago and never got around to finishing or things like the 100 Things list, that don't really require any thought or emotional attachment. Suffice it to say, I haven't really been present.

Last week kinda sucked for everyone I know. The Monday before last, I found out that my Dad has prostate cancer and was having a prostatectomy within the week (I'll spare you the link to prostate cancer and all the wonderful pictures - I'm sure interested parties can find it on their own). I spent my time planning and then aborting a trip back home to be with him as he got out of the hospital. Turns out it was a good thing, too, because I was planning to leave Wednesday and a snowstorm on Tuesday night cancelled flights here for days... I wouldn't have been able to get there anyway. He had the surgery last week and is home today - despite a few nurses' attempt to starve him into staying another few hours. Let's hear it for managed care medicine - who can't even remember to bring patients their meals and then wonder why they faint after walking them all over the hospital. My brother was able to get him home from the hospital safely. So far everything looks promising; the doctor pronounced the operation "successful". He still has a long way to go in the way of follow up and tests, I imagine, but despite my love/hate relationship (or perhaps it's better described as a hate/hate relationship) with modern medicine and doctors, I'm grateful that they are finding and dealing with these kinds of things so much earlier than they used to and that chances are good that he'll recover fully.

Monday was also the day that Monica got the results of Marielle's hearing test. You can read about it here and here if you haven't been hanging around her weblog lately. My mind has totally been preoccupied with thoughts of people I love - and how powerless we all are to do anything to help sometimes. I know this sucks for them. I know how when some damn doctor tells you there's one tiny thing about your child that isn't perfect, it's like a knife in your heart. So I can only imagine what they are going through now. I guess the good thing is all the resources they have to draw on... things that, living in any other place, in any other time, they would not have access to. A friend of mine is hearing impaired and has been since childhood. Because there weren't mandatory hearing tests for children back then, they didn't even figure out that hearing was an issue for him until he was almost four. They just labeled him as "retarded" until it dawned on someone that he didn't startle when they turned the vacuum cleaner on next to him. He missed a critical window of language development time and had a devil of a time learning it later. So there's one way Mari is already ahead of the game. She has parents who were willing to take the time to schedule a test in a town two hours away when they couldn't get an appointment in under four months in one of the areas in the country with the most doctors and medical services. I know my friend and I know that she will face this in the same put-your-back-into-it way she looks at everything she confronts in life - and she will do it with a sense of humor.

Monday was also the day I figured out that I'm pregnant. (Like how I hid that tidbit way down in the middle of a post? I like to make people work for their information.) While I can fully admit with the brain part of me that this is a good thing, this news strikes fear into my heart more intense than if I knew that Armageddon was beginning tomorrow. My previous history has not been good with these things and I don't know why I was so unprepared for how scared I would be (again!), not just to have a baby with something wrong, but also to have a baby that doesn't have anything wrong. I'm having a little trouble getting used to the idea and all the logistics: TWO! How am I going to take care of TWO?!? What am I going to tell my boss? Do I have to tell my boss? Maybe she won't notice. The timing of this couldn't be worse - If I were planning, the baby would come well before October or well after. Not right smack in the middle as it looks like it going to be. But then what if the baby comes months early like my first? That would be worse. What will I do about my conference? I've already missed two conferences for babies, now it looks like I'm planning this. Hey, maybe that's not such a bad plan - wonder if I can have a baby next November too? What am I going to do for day care? Who's going to pay for all this? Where's the baby going to sleep, in a drawer? Can we build a closet outside the house for the baby's stuff? Every last inch inside the house is already being used.

Nothing is seeming to line up in nice neat little rows and I'm left feeling like a teenage girl who got knocked up in the back seat of a Chevy. I know I'll get to a point where I'm excited but right now, fear has just got the better of me. I'm chalking it all up to hormones at this point.
And just to stave off the inevitable question, no this baby isn't an "accident", but it is a bit of a surprise. We weren't trying not to have a baby, but were weren't actively trying either. We've hemmed and hawed on the subject of Another for years now and had decided that it was pretty much soon or never. But with The Dormouse it took a good eight, nine months after I stopped taking birth control, and it's only been a few weeks this time, so I wasn't even thinking this direction yet.

So anyway, the events of last week have all come together to create a veritable trifecta of ennui.

This Monday, The KingofHearts and I both had the day off for Presidents' Day, so on Sunday afternoon we told The Dormouse that maybe we'd take her to see Bridge to Terabithia the next day. She's seen the previews for it and has been asking to go for weeks, so this excited her to no end. In fact, she woke up at three am on Monday morning and climbed into bed with me.

"Can we go to see Terabithia now, Momma? You said we could go today."

"Sweetie, it's three in the morning, go back to sleep. We'll see it later."

Then at five, there was a repeat performance.

"How about now, Momma? Terabithia now? It's morning and you said we could go in the morning."

"No baby, there aren't even any movies playing at five in the morning... we have to wait until later today."

Over breakfast, KoH made the mistake of telling her "Not now" which she took to mean "Never" and had a meltdown.

Finally, we found an 11:30 showing and headed out.

When I was eight, I read Bridge to Teribithia. It was a Newbery award winner and I read all those books back then. My mother worked in our school library and the head librarian was always recommending books for me to read when I hung out there after school. I didn't really remember much of the story, just the basics, but I remember bawling my bloody eyes out at the end. I've never forgotten that book or how it affected me. The previews made the movie seem so different from the book, that I'd already accepted that somewhere in the screenplay there was probably a disclaimer saying "Any character in this movie bearing resemblance to characters in the book upon which it is based is unintentional and purely coincidental." Not so. The movie was, in fact, a very good representation of the book. They stayed true to the story and even large parts of the dialog were pretty much lifted from the book. I was very impressed. Turns out, the author's son had a hand in the screenplay.

I just found out yesterday from a colleague that the basic facts of the book are based on the true story of the author's son and his friend and it all happened right around the Takoma Park, Maryland area. The creek was based on Sligo Creek in Silver Spring. I'm glad I didn't know that when we went to see the movie because there in the movie theatre my hormone-addled, emotionally exhausted brain turned into that eight year old kid again and I cried all through the second half. I cried because I knew what was going to happen and then I cried again when it happened. And then I cried after it happened. And just for good measure, I cried through the credits.

I'm not a weepy person normally and I seldom cry at movies - I don't know why this one affected me so. I guess catharsis ain't just a river in Egypt... or... wait... that's not how that's supposed to go. Aw, who cares... I'm gonna have a baby.