This is we. We are three, and we are adorable. That was taken maybe an hour after Eli was born (*cough*with no drugs whatsoever, lord have mercy I DID that?!?!?!*cough*). Serene, no? Birth is a beautiful thing. A beautiful, screamy, “I can’t do this! Do it for me! Oh, dear GOD that thing is not going to fit through there” thing. But I digress…
The one on the right is my hippie boy. His real name is Stephen, but the nickname pleases me, and he likes it when I am amused, so hippie boy he shall be. The one on the left is me. I had just given birth. Be nice. The one on my chest is Eli. “Ninja” to those of you who knew him before he was living on the outside.
Stephen acquired his nickname because when we met, his hair was longer, and more luxurious than mine. Out of my jealousy a nickname was born.
Eli (Elijah) acquired his on account of being so darned sneaky. When we discovered our little ninja was on the way I had recently made a permanent (or so we thought) move to the Dallas area, so that I could actually be paid to act, occasionally. I was almost halfway through the pregnancy before we finally tracked down the little stinkpot in my uterus.
We began the process of slowly adjusting to one (steady) income so that I could stay with Eli during the day, and go to rehearsals (we hoped) at night. I had accepted a show contract* in Irving, and taken on a day job nannying two of the most fantastic kiddos ever known to North Dallas before finding out about our little surprise, so I had to stay where I was for the time being. Thus began the most hellish commute of my life. I spent my weekends in Bryan/College Station (henceforth to be referred to as BCS) setting up our new home, and soaking up time with friends before becoming a mommy. Monday mornings (or afternoons depending on how well my hormones were behaving) I drove back to Dallas in time to pick my kiddo up from school, and teach her to sing for a little while before taking her older brother to his fencing lessons. I plead the fifth anytime someone asks how long it takes to get from BCS to Dallas. Speed limits are just suggestions, right?
When this all began I was four months pregnant, and already exhausted from the sheer effort it took to try to put my pants on in the mornings. “Try” being the operative word. Those of you who know me well (or for more than five minutes) know that I am little obsessive about my appearance, and won’t be winning awards any time soon for my ability to be still for extended periods of time. By the time I stopped commuting, and moved back to BCS I was at the end of my third trimester, severely anemic (somehow my doctor didn’t catch that. Thank you God for my amazing midwife!), royally freaked out by the beach ball that was my stomach, my inability to walk without waddling, and the fact that I couldn’t get through the day without taking a minimum of three naps per day. Usually each of those three naps were each three hours. What can I say? I like symmetry.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever will I move in my third trimester ever again. Ever. Neither should you. It’s awful. Just say no.
Anyhow, courtesy of Andrew Roblyer (who quickly became my new hero), the ‘This Is Water’ Theatre Company was founded in BCS, and I became a founding member of the ensemble of actors. I was able to move home with my hippie to the small Texas college town that I loved, give birth to my son surrounded by friends, family, and functional family, AND… continue pursuing my career in a professional setting. He, and the rest of the ensemble welcomed my huge, over-emotional, exhausted, waddling, and often crying pregnant self into their fold, and thus I have my life. I love it. We struggle to make ends meet sometimes, but we’re happy. We feel like we have it all, because really? We do. We both do what we love, we have each other, and our unexpected, blessing of a boychild. What else is there, really?
A “yes, I’m writing this backstage. Appropriate, no?” me
*The show contract I accepted before the discovery that I was preggers outside of wedlock? ‘The Sound of Music’. I played a nun. The best part is that I wasn’t the only pregnant nun in that cast. Apparently God enjoys irony just as much as I do.