I went roller skating on Saturday night. I had no choice; a friend of mine was throwing a party for her fortieth thirtieth birthday. So I had to go. And at first I was very excited, much like I was when I ordered the tickets for the Third Eye Blind concert. I loved roller skating as a kid. I had the white skates, the blue pom poms . . . I wanted to be a speed skater when I grew up.
But now I am grown up and I don’t want to be a speed skater anymore. Instead I want a foot massage and an early bedtime.
So all day on Saturday I was dreading the party, kind of like I’d dreaded the Third Eye Blind concert. In fact, I started wishing I was pregnant, because that way I’d have an excuse not to go.
This is exactly the wish I had at the concert when two girls lit up right beside me. Maybe if I was pregnant, I thought, overcome by a cloud of cigarette smoke, I could turn toward them and they’d see my seven-months-pregnant belly and apologize and go away.
But then I thought about my best friend from sixth grade, who’s forty thirty and pregnant and unable to have a glass of wine at the end of the day. And I thought about my best friend from graduate school, who just had her third child the day before Halloween. When I talked to her on the phone last week she sounded exhausted and whispery and entirely too excited by the fact that she’d been able to sleep two and a half hours in a row. And I had to be very careful when she asked how I was doing not to mention the Third Eye Blind concert or the roller skating party because, you know, she’s clearly not going to be doing anything other than changing nappies anytime soon.
And I also thought of the friend of a friend who should be my friend because we have, like, 100 mutual friends on Facebook, and she has nine-week-old triplets. Triplets. A year ago she had one little girl the same age as The Boy and now she has the same little girl and three babies, too. And the romantic part of me thinks, oh, babies, babies, sweet babies. And the saner part of me thinks: Ignore friend request.
And then there’s the whole brain tumor thing. My neurosurgeon gave me the go-ahead to get pregnant again, but then I’d actually have to be pregnant again. And I found the whole experience pretty atrocious, even without the brain surgery. The nausea and the weight gain and the middle of the night crying jags . . . it’s really not for me. And when The Boy was about three years old my husband and I were feeling guilty about having an only child and we thought, well, maybe we should just try. And we lasted one month. And I was so relieved when I got my period because we had plans to go to San Antonio for the weekend and there was no way I wanted to go to Boudro’s and not be able to drink a prickly pear margarita. And The Boy, as recently as a week ago, answered a resounding “No!” when I asked if he ever wanted a brother or sister. And then he acted out the scenario: “Mom, can you play?” he asked in his Boy-voice, and then he answered in a Mommy-voice, “Nooo, I’m busy with your brother.”
And then he shuddered.
And so I realized, standing there at the concert and inhaling smoke, that really, pregnancy would be so much worse.
But on Saturday afternoon I found myself thinking: if I was pregnant I couldn’t put on skates.
But maybe I would. Because I did lots of thing when I was pregnant that most women don’t do. Like have my skull sawed open, for instance. Or, when the doctors realized that Tylenol wasn’t cutting it as far as pain medication was concerned, they hooked me up to a morphine drip, which wasn’t as awesome as you’d think because the rebound headaches blow. And I did lots of step classes and kickbox classes because going to the gym was the only thing that made me feel even remotely normal. And so 15 days after I got out of the hospital I was back at the gym, where all of the women wanted to see my scar and all of the men were squeamish. And when I did squats everyone would give me a wide berth because they were afraid the baby would drop to the floor right there. And my step instructor made me put these weird mats under my bench so I wouldn’t slip. And about a week before I had my C-section, because oh yeah, I had a C-section, I’d had enough surprises, thank you very much . . . about a week before I had the C-section I was in a class at the gym and we were doing lunges and this woman announced in front of the whole class that she was a nurse for an ob/gyn and she really didn’t think it was a good idea for me to do lunges so far along in my pregnancy. And I was like, Shut up, bitch. Because until you’ve had your own skull cracked open, I don’t want to hear it.
Of course, even if I was willing to go roller skating while I was pregnant, the skating rink probably has some sort of policy that would prevent me from following through.
And anyway, think about what I’d have to endure just to get out of a few hours of roller skating!
So I went roller skating.
And for the first loop around the track I was terrified. But after that I was completely fine. And when the birthday girl insisted we participate in the races for ages 16 and up, I skated right out there and I only screamed a little. And I was fast, though not as fast as Amy, who just retired from roller derby and made it twice around the track before the rest of us could finish even once. And even though I stopped skating long enough to eat a birthday cupcake, I was ready to get back out there as soon as I was finished. And I was kind of disappointed to take off my skates when the birthday girl announced that she was ready for margaritas, which they don’t serve at the roller skating rink for obvious reasons.
And now I want to go back, because roller skating was the most fun I’ve had since the Third Eye Blind concert. Maybe I can even request some Third Eye Blind.
And when I come home I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine.
Copyright © 2009 Jennifer Hritz hritzontheedge All Rights Reserved