Warm Rain

Where's the snow?

My husband and I decided to have a child when we were in our mid-thirties. I snuck in just under the "we test you and your unborn for everything" age of 35. I conceived at age 34, and when asked my age  I answered confidently, "Thirty-four," even though halfway through my pregnancy I would turn 35.

I knew all would be well. I knew it even as my pregnancy reached its eighth and ninth months, during which my midwives were less sure and ordered tests and tests. Some I avoided like a "bad kid", canceling appointments via after hours answering service, avoiding return calls from their office. I knew all would be well.

The only time I felt like things would not be well was sometime during a test. My confidence would waver. A flush of heat would rise to my cheeks and chest. Jared would squeeze my hand. Every test came out ok, baby arrived ok, and the dent in the back of his head is ok, his diaper rash healed, his colic passed, all his teeth came in, he finally began to talk, and so on. Everything is ok.

We also conceived our child in the Age of Climate Change. I would like to be an optimist. I would like to be a denier. I would like to think everything is ok. Instead, I often chose to be a non-thinker. I just don't think about it, or at least I try not to.

I do what I can, teach my child about the plants. He brushes his hand across the cover of Planting the Future: Saving Our Medicinal Herbs, pausing on a photo of Arnica montana. He rubs each of my cheeks gently, then his father's. "Yes, these are the plants that heal us. Momma made a salve from flowers. We rub it on our cheeks in the winter," my husband says. My husband taught him this gesture, I suppose, because I didn't.

I would have never brought a child into a world I thought was doomed. But still.

I turn off lights, recycle grey water into our washing machine. We garden. We hardly have anything, we hardly buy anything but groceries. I navigate the shopping cart through organic, natural, and non- (conventional) labels, picking what I know my family will enjoy, what we can stomach, and what we can pay for.

This weather is strange. Will my son know snow? He knows it, loves it now. What about when he is ten?