Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Harvest Time

“Oh, I’ve already thought of that. I would send you out to California to live with Uncle Jack and Aunt Pat until the baby comes and is put up for adoption.”

Put up?! PUT UP?!?! Like vegetables after harvest? Like the plum jelly mom makes every fall? Stuffed in a jar and hidden high on a shelf somewhere to be brought out at some later date?

I am recalling my mother’s response to a question I had posed to her a week or two earlier,

“Mom? What would you do if one of us got pregnant?”

[Out of the seven kids in our family, four are girls.]

How can a daughter ask a mother that question and a mother not pause to consider the reason?

“Miss Smith?”

I am called out of my contemplation and back into an exam room at Planned Parenthood.

The doctor appears and inquires brusquely, rudely,

“Do you think you are pregnant?”

“No” I lie, hoping that my answer will become the gospel truth.

“Why not?” he pushes.

“Because I am so irregular, once I went for seven months with out a period” when I thought I was pregnant - I don’t add... oh god...

“Well, you are and you’d better figure out what you are going to do quickly because you are close to ten weeks along.”

[no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, no,no,noooo]

He turns away and leaves the room shaking his head, these ignorant, idiotic girls...

The noise in my head is reaching mind-blowing proportions...

[no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, no,no,noooo]

...and I am thinking that there isn’t enough air in this place.

[no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, no,no,noooo]

I can’t breathe

This can NOT be happening to me

I am a nice girl, from a nice family

I can’t breathe

I am going to college in a month

I have a roommate

I can’t breathe

We have written each other about how to decorate our dorm room

What about MY DORM ROOM???

I blindly stumble out of the exam room, down the hall, gaining momentum as I reach the waiting room.

I rush past Phil throwing him a murderous glance and run down the long staircase to the street below.

Phil hurries after me.

“I’m pregnant” - this I say flatly, belying the panic within.

[no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, no,no,noooo]

Phil wraps his arms around me but there is no passion today. There is no affection. There is no love. It is not because he isn’t offering - it is because I am closed off to receiving.

We walk back to the car and get in. We have driven to a town forty five minutes from our own so as not to be recognized.

As we begin the long drive back [no,no,no,no,no, no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, no,no,noooo] I glance at Phil and I see he is smiling.

What the....?

“I can’t help it, I think of you carrying our baby and it makes me smile...”

I am wondering if my swing is strong enough to shatter teeth. I am wondering if it is strong enough to shatter time and make this all go away.

I am wondering if I am strong enough...

As I stare at the ripening August fields rushing past I know harvest time is near.

I will be put up.

********************
Today's post was written by my friend Molly commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the moment she found out she was pregnant with her first son.

She did go live with her Aunt and Uncle until the baby was born and he was put up for adoption.

Many years later, her son found her and now he is an active part of her life and the lives of her family members.

I'm grateful to Molly for sharing this piece here and guessing that she might be considering a blog of her own.

She would love to hear your thoughts.

42 comments:

Mama Goose said...

My skin is tingling. What a beautifully told account of a harrowing time for a young girl. Please thank Molly for sharing this.

Cyndi said...

My throat just closed up from the tears. That was beautiful and honest.

Erin said...

That was really powerful. Congrats (is that even the right word?) to Molly for having the strength to write that. I am proud of her, and i don't even know her.

Bon said...

Molly, this took my breath away. i could see the girl you were and your confusion and panic...and i can see a glimpse of the woman you grew into and the abiding strength that it must have taken to live this story.

mush-push said...

Hi there,
I agree, very well written! I think she has a gift, and hopefully starts a blog.

-heder

CDJ said...

Skin tingling... that's exactly how I feel, Mama Goose!

This was a great post. Thank you, Molly, for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Most definitely consider a blog and you'll have some readers! I mostly lurk on blogs (usually not much time to post) and that was a great post!

Thanks for the epilogue at the end, Joys!

Annie said...

Definitely blog! I'll be reading.

I can't imagine the terror - but so glad this has a happy outcome.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

wow.

When she does get a blog I will be reading.

kellypea said...

Very powerful, Molly. And how amazing that he found you and that you're a part of each other's lives. I just finished the Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett, so this story of yours fit right into that and has me wondering again about how different my life would be if I'd not decided to keep my first child.

Kyla said...

Wow. Wow. Beautifully written. Powerful stuff.

Patience said...

All the emotions! Everything she must have been feeling came screaming through as if it was yesterday!

Molly should definitely do a blog, and you should definitely link us all to it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ms. Smith,

That was cool. Especially knowing how well the jam turned out.

IRISHKAT said...

Wow.... I am speechless. What an amazing post. My friend went through the exact same thing at the same time in her life and chose a different path which she has hidden from her family for years. Thank you so much for sharing.

Carroll said...

Molly, that was a powerful piece of writing. So glad your story had a happy ending. My friend tells a similar one you might enjoy reading here: http://blogs.salon.com/0003522/2004/10/16.html

I am in awe of, and deeply honor, young women the world over who have gone through this harrowing experience.

Bogart in P Towne said...

Very powerful post...thanks for sharing!!!

Marit said...

very very good

Mary Beth said...

Molly, that was beautifully written and I'm so glad your son is now a part of your life. You should definitely consider having a blog - there's no describing how freeing it is:D

Circus Kelli said...

Wow. I have chills. As a child who was put up for adoption, and later reunited with my biological mother, this story "grabs" me.

anneglamore said...

That was breathtaking.

Tracy said...

I got the heeby-jeebies.

That's what my grandma always called it when you got goosebumps - she said the heeby-jeebies were trying to burrow into your skin. She was a sadistic old lady. Ha.

All Adither said...

Riveting. Though I thought it was you until the very end.

Abbynormal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abbynormal said...

ohhh wow. Haven't we all sat at Planned Parenthood waiting for the results? Molly, you are wonderful. Thank you for sharing that with the many, many readers of this blog. Your courage really speaks volumes for you. I had a friend get pregnant the very end of sophomore year. She was so jealous that it never happened to me and for a while I thought she was right that I deserved it like it was some disease. She placed her baby too but I just wish she would have had the same attitude and wonderful consequences you did.

Thank you.

zellmer said...

Yes, blog please.

I can't imagine how hard that was to give up your baby, but isn't it wonderful that you've found each other again? I'm sure this is only one of many fascinating (and well-told) stories you have in you.

fairytalesandmargaritas said...

Oh, how heartwrenching. I was in a very similar situtation, but kept the child. But, it is a very hard decision to make and either way it changes your life forever.

Alison said...

Molly is my sister-in-law, and it took a lot for her to do what she did in order to give her son a chance a life. Now that they have found each other, their family is really complet.

amanda said...

Wow. I'd love to hear more from Molly.

mothergoosemouse said...

So brave - both then and now. Cheers to you, Molly.

Hetha said...

Loved it Molly. You're a great story-teller, now go start a blog!

jeanie said...

Well written. I am so glad that the second chance has been made.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

Beautiful post. Molly definitely should be writing because I'd be reading!

Lynn Tewksbury said...

Molly - I think about you all the time - I am having a realy hard time with my boy's - I wish we still lived close & you could help me - because you have done a great job!! love you - miss you - Lynn

Pgoodness said...

That was lovely, and heart-wrenching. I am adopted and I would love to hear more of her story...

Anissa Mayhew said...

Oh, Molly.

My heart breaks for the days, months and years you didn't have you baby. What a brave thing you have done to share that incredible day and I pray you have many more wonderful times with your son. You have a powerful talent, go, get thee a blog NOW!

flutter said...

This breaks and mends my heart in more ways than I can say.

Shannon said...

A beautifully written post. She should definitely start her own blog!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Just like you, Molly! Thank You! Marj

Michele H. said...

Hey Molly--
Yes, I finally got around to reading you since bumping into you earlier. I'd forgotten this part of your past. Very beautifully done. I hope there's more to come. And I look forward to seeing you more often in this new friendship. You're a righteous babe.

Kimberly said...

Wow.
Powerful.
So glad he is in your life now.

Missives From Suburbia said...

My thought is that it's an incredibly brave and beautifully-written piece, and if Molly does start a blog, I want to know about it!

Karen said...

I had the same experience when I was 17. My son was given up for adoption, too. I am still searching for him. He was 36 years old in March.