There’s something pathological about giving and giving without promise of reciprocal returns. Child of immigrants who grew up watching my parents support other adults a.k.a. childlike dependents? Check. In the business of helping others? Check. Middle manager pressed by the higher-ups and the masses to do more in eleven hours than time or energy will allow? Check. The only person I don’t begrudge her dependence on me is literally taking up residence in my body. She can take all the food and energy she wants; she is my solace during these hectic days of standardized tests, award ceremonies, end of school year preparation, and stress.
Evenings and weekends have become blissfully domestic and cherished. I get home, eat, watch TV or read, lie on my side so I can feel my baby kick and stretch. I giggle at her movements, smile when she responds to her father’s voice. Blues got in after a midnight run with stories of fellow runners following in step with his Army cadences. Our daughter seemed to enjoy a PT run of her own until we would down with talk about my strange dream of a hyena with a hunchback and crooked teeth. I resented the alarm, my obligatory return to the too-demanding pace of an understaffed office. I resort to to-do lists and thoughts of my comforting womb to get me through the workday.
It could be worse. I make good money, have a new car, should be done paying my school loan in a few months. My daughter and I are maintaining our health. I’m praying the Liturgy of the Hours on weekday mornings. My blessings still outnumber my burdens.