May, June, July and August awakened some kind of life back inside of me. Archer, his Ali Cat and baby "The Big Y" along with Saphira arrived full of energy and passion for enjoying The Yaak. They'd been cooped up in frosty Minnesota for 9 months in college classes and all they could think about was camping and hiking and playing in the forest.
We hiked hard, camped hard, played hard all summer. We enjoyed many fine dinners with good friends. We spent endless summer days at the little local lake and embarked on many adventures to Lake Koocanusa, which is like a tropical paradise except for being in Montana. Saphira and I snuck away some evenings and came back stinking like fish after sitting outside in the dark gutting them. Then we'd fry up the whole mess and eat a late night dinner of lake trout. We helped with an elegant wedding - I served tables while Saphira was a stunning maid of honor. We also hosted the event of the summer with Art Dog's Home School Graduation/Birthday Party. Over a hundred people showed up and it was quite the shindig complete with kids playing music, wrestling tournaments in the dirt and a really shocking array of individuals.
Archer and Ali Cat cut wood for locals to make a little spending money and I got the privilege of watching Big Y. He came to MT with a sweet disposition, barely toddling around and left running and screaming and had developed a lot of attitude. He is the most monstrously built 1 year old I have ever seen. He's not just chubby, he's like a solid tank with pretty blond hair and big blue eyes. He scans for food constantly, almost as if he is on the prowl. Anyone attempting to eat anything must conceal the matter quite privately or you must reckon with him. I also have never seen a baby that loved to eat like him. I could always count on him to pack away smoothies or fresh bread or whatever I happened to have on the stove. The only fickleness he showed was to greens which he spread about the house as if for decoration.
Saphira and I did a little running and we halfway trained for the Long Bridge Swim, but for the most part we enjoyed good food and joked about getting "beer bellies", though we really didn't drink all that much beer. By the end of summer my weight had gotten completely out of control, but I figured I could work on it after the kids left. Suddenly, none of the pants in my drawer would snap and I felt about as bloated as a blow fish. I frowned in the mirror and wondered if I'd really eaten "that much". Then I started cramping my brain to figure out when my last period was. I drew a blank........................ There were several times when I thought it might have been, but no clear memory to go on. Frantic to justify my newly acquired belly, I bought a dollar store pregnancy test - just thinking I needed to get that idea out of my brain. Hurriedly I rushed into the thrift store bathroom to find out. It never registered anything. Next I borrowed a test from my already expecting Ali Cat. She laughed and gave me an extra one she had. I accidentally peed on it backwards and the control window never showed up. Finally on the day the kids were leaving back for college, in desperation, I had rode in to town with the Archer to help him pick up some car parts. This time I bought 2 tests just to be sure. This time they both worked and left me in a state of shock and disbelief. Maybe my big gut was really justifiable!!! What if a large baby was growing in there? What if I'd been pregnant half the summer? What if it was twins, triplets or an alien from Mars? Soon my mind was reeling and I was speculating all kinds of scenarios unfolding.
At long last, a week later, my patient husband drove me to the big city to see a midwife and get to the bottom of this shocking surprise. By now I'd taken 5 HCG tests and the ones that worked were ALL POSITIVE. The midwife was very kind and diplomatic. My husband seemed to know more of the answers to her questions than I did. At long last she sent me into an ultra sound to get to the bottom of the big mystery surprise. There in the 7 year void which I thought was going into early menopause was an ever so tiny 5 week old 2 day home which a tiny baby was forming in. The staff all smiled at me patiently. We all laughed about me not being able to justify Miss Belly Fat and celebrated that once more I would partake in motherhood................................
I guess the summer was good for me in many ways. Where I started out feeling really purposeless and lost, I ended up feeling enriched with the time I got to spend having my whole family together again. I turned cocoa brown in the sun and felt content to feast on fresh trout and swim the waters I've swam so very many times. I laughed hard, lived well and ended up full of life on many levels.
At our girls group, the girls came unglued and began laughing hysterically when they heard the news. Everybody seems to be thoroughly shocked but joyful about the whole thing. The idea is still sinking in for me, but I know this is God's surprise gift for me and that He always has a good plan with a hope and a future.
A few weeks after I wrote that post, I miscarried. I really liked writing this story, so I am going to go ahead and post it anyway. I just needed some time.................