It was the Winter Solstice, 2012 – the changing of the guard to welcome winter with her harsh white crown. We were visiting my family in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, and while my parents were at work we ran around town to finish our last bit of Christmas shopping. The first snowfall of the year on the first day of winter is a snapshot of poetic coincidence and the scenery seemed so perfect and pure in every direction, covering the twisted barren trees and gray rooftops with a sparkle of newness.
We stopped at many places as we checked off our shopping list, enchanted by the lacy white flurries dancing all around us. We ducked into a drug store and while Randy picked out a few gifts for my stocking I picked up a pregnancy test.
You see, one week before this day I was on stage for my big annual holiday show. My regular monthly business was supposed to have happened before the show hit the stage that weekend, but it never did. The show was sold out both nights and I was so wrapped up in the excited busy-ness of it all that I hardly noticed the sign. But when a few days became a few more I began to worry and wonder. I told my friend Shelly that I was late and she is a good friend, so she just asked me how I felt about it. A good friend holds up a mirror when you really need to see the truth about yourself. All I could say was “I don’t know” but tears were sneaking out of the corners of my eyes.
It was too much – too terrifying, too wonderful, too complex an emotion to explain. And it was too early to get excited – too soon to know for sure. People have asked if Randy and I had been “trying” and I always say no, but what does that really mean? We had been praying for God’s wisdom and timing because we could never seem to understand how a child could fit into our lives. I wondered if the timing would ever be right, but in my heart it was what I truly wanted – it had been my secret Christmas wish.
I decided to wait one week to find out for sure if my season was indeed changing with the rest of the world. Within that week I had tried on many frames of mind and emotion, but when the day finally arrived I was perfectly at peace with whatever the result. Back at my parent’s house all our shopping was done, dinner was a memory washed from all the dishes, and long conversations had smoldered into goodnight kisses. I slipped into the privy with a test in my pocket. I was strangely calm even as I waited for the answer. I brushed my teeth while the strange plastic device did its business. When I was done brushing I casually looked over to see the word “PREGNANT” clearly printed in the display window. I picked it up to look closer, my heart flipped a few times over and I took a steady breath.
Randy was in the bedroom reading, winding down to sleep, but I couldn’t wait to tell him. I brought the test in with me so he could see the bold word himself. I watched his face as a myriad of emotions shifted across it like a time-lapse photograph. Shock was first, then confusion, questioning, then came a slight freak-out session when the timing dawned on him. “Wait! That’s the middle of festival season! Erin, we can’t do this now!” he objected. “Honey,” I said as I snuggled in close to him “It’s happening now.” He held me close and kissed me on the forehead. It was the biggest news he’s ever received and he needed to sleep on it, so I didn’t say anything more.
I can’t believe how well I slept that first night of knowing – how peacefully and fully engrossed in sleep I was. It was like the first snow – a mystical flurry of beauty observed without a thought about the reality of winter and all the changes it would bring. No reality yet – there would be time for that – but for now only this iridescent white blanket of newness covering the world within my view.
Check out 2 related posts:
Read more: “The Solstice and The Stowaway Part 2”
Here the story told more simply in a video of a song: “Carry You Along”