As Pregnant as Marlon Brando

In two days, I will have my second child.

Today, I am so huge, I feel like Marlon Brando, in the Bloated Years.

Our family was looking at pictures this morning, and my husband exclaimed, “Wow! Look at Mummy! She was SKINNY!”

I was up reading last night, around 3 a.m., Ha Jin’s The Crazed, about a student who ends up at Tianamen Square and witnesses people getting shot in the face – and when that was done, I started on Douglas Coupland’s Hello, Nostradamus, which turned out to be first-person stories of an invented Columbine-esque shooting. Nothing like teens and guns to help a pregnant woman get to sleep at 4 a.m., right?

The thought of my children suffering either from state-based oppression or from culturally induced aggression – the thought of my children suffering – the thought of ME suffering – the thought of dying – the thought, which I heard expressed in a poem sometime last fall that ‘in giving birth a mother is also giving death to her child’ – and then how fast time seems to be racing –

Well, I began to feel overwhelmed.

I still, at moments, feel quite small, quite young, quite raw, as it were.

Why am I here? Why am I here and giving birth to more beings who will someday wonder, too, Why am I here? I have never been one to agree that life is JUST suffering. But suffering sure does do its best to outweigh the wonder sometimes.

If I could truly inhabit Brando for a few minutes, perhaps I would have something pithy to say in response.

As it is, all I know is that all of us have these moments where we seem huge and indestructible to others and to ourselves, we’re inflated to the size of a balloon turkey in a Macy’s parade, but inside it feels like we are as small and defenseless to the slings and arrows of existence as the baby nesting inside me right now.

In two days, I start to deflate. A new life enters the mixed-up mix of suffering and joy that is this world. I will not have any answers for my children anymore than I have them for myself.

But we can watch Brando movies together, at least.

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3 Responses to As Pregnant as Marlon Brando

  1. ChrEliz says:

    Girl, you are words on fire. Love both posts. Wrotecha an email about the other one. Please keep writing like this. I’m on the edge of my seat.

  2. ChrEliz says:

    Just gotta say one more thing. It’s 9pm Monday night. That means, in 14 hours, you’ll be having a baby!!! I am so excited! I will see you tomorrow, dear one. Hugs. xoxo

  3. Congrats on the new baby from the Family Hack clan. We’re expecting our third in May. Mama is already looking quite er…bouncy. I’m sure Brando is in our immediate future.

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