From where I was laying on the hammock, I could hear all of their conversations. I didn't feel like talking.
My sister-in-law, Shayna: “So, any contractions, yet?”
My sister, Kim: “No, just back pain. You know how that is. How’s the nausea?”
Shayna: “Better. It’s worse at work. LeeAnn, have you gotten sick yet?”
My sister, LeeAnn: “Just twice. I think Charlie feels worse than me… Sympathy symptoms, I think.”
All three of them start laughing.
All three of my sisters were pregnant. And I’m as clueless as a dude when it comes to baby-talk. All three of them have been joking that there’s something in the water and that I better watch out.
My nephew, who’s ten years old, can’t quite understand why three of his aunts are pregnant and the other one isn’t… Which is sort of difficult to explain to a ten year old.
My brother, Marvin: “So Alex, they catch that guy yet?”
My boyfriend, Alex: “What guy?”
Marvin: “The guy that stole your razor.” He starts laughing.
Alex: High pitched fake laugh.
I hear something hit the ground. I think Alex chucked a hot dog at him.
I can hear my grandmother and stepmother talking over baby shower plans.
My dad and my brother-in-law, Charlie, are talking about fishing.
That hammock was so comfortable I probably could have gone to sleep, had the mosquitoes not been trying to suck me bloodless, requiring constant swatting.
It was almost dark and we had just finished eating our hot dogs, hamburgers, and burnt marshmallows. The day had been great. Despite feeling as though I don’t quite fit anywhere in my family these days, I know they still love me. And it was sort of comforting to just lay there in that hammock and listen to their conversations and bantering.
That’s when my nephew, Devin, walked over to the hammock. “Hey, whatcha doing?”
I yawn and look over at him. He was covered in dirt and was swinging a stick. “I was just thinking about going to sleep… But I don’t think that’d be a good idea with all these mosquitoes.”
Devin swats one away from his face. “You wanna go look at PawPaw’s pumpkins with me?”
My dad had a row of pumpkins planted in a pasture, ready for Halloween.
I smile. “Sure, we’ll walk out there before it gets totally dark.”
And so I started trying to lift myself up out of the hammock. If anyone’s every been in one, you know how hard it is to get back out of one. After rolling and rocking a few times, I put one foot on the ground to steady myself. Then I rolled onto my left side and tried again, but I didn’t make it up.
Devin reached out a hand to help me. “What’s the matter, that baby giving you trouble?”