Pitter-patter is not at all political. It is unaware of congress, and the president, too. And it might be better off, for I would hate it to think that it is just a bunch of cells, lumped together haphazard, someone to be tossed out and thrown away, reduced to inconvenience, referred to as a choice and not a child. Its existence dependent on someone’s perspective.
Pitter-patter cannot vote, or choose at all, which seems unfair, to me, its mother. It cannot march, stand, or hold signs. But it twists and it rolls. It can make you uncomfortable. Its taps are quite strong. A purpose its own. It speaks rather loud if you listen to silence.
I remember each time Pitter-patter began to speak to me.
It was the last Sunday in May, the first time James danced. I sat near a pond off the road called Love Hollow. Grass twirled in my hand as his dad’s arm drew back with his fly rod, its string swaying peacefully behind him and then into the water. I sighed in surprise and sat there a while, pressing my hand on his body and mine. The kick, like him, strong and intense. It seldom stopped, hardly settled, wiggling and wrangling all the way along.
Sweet baby Josephine danced awfully early. In the middle of chores, her feet jumped with a palpable joy. Gentle yet excited, enthusiastic and kind. She’s never stopped tapping, never stopped smiling, reminding me then, just like now, to quit all that laundry, and enjoy a little freedom.
Rita Therese was 10 weeks along. I laid on the chair and its soft navy back, its cushion absorbing my exhaustion. What a surprise, those feet came to be, reminding of joy, and sacrifice, too. Her kicks the first, that led me to tears, for her soft gentle rhythms weren’t what I thought I wanted. Rita, my child, a gift sent from heaven, came at just the unexpected time I never knew I needed.
John Christopher began teaching me early, to trust in myself and let that voice be heard. At my 12 week appointment, no heartbeat detected, at first. “Move that doppler up a bit,” I said to the doctor. “There is no way you can feel it, it is much too early,” she spoke rather proudly. “I know what it feels like, and I know where he is. My baby is dancing, right here.” It was just like him, so steady and sure, soft spoken and gentle, never wanting to intrude.
Cora Regina’s blended right into the day, yet even in chaos, we all surely noticed. Her pitter patter peddled and pranced making everyone laugh and jump in excitement. A baby! Their sister! Their own! What a gift! Her hiccups came at the same time each day. Her legs stretched up to my ribs. She liked to dance at bedtime. She made her mom quite sick. But then again, she saved me.
They grow quick and they make messes. They stink and never go to bed. They are loud and they are crazy. We are never prepared. Each one of them is so perfectly imperfect, incredibly inconvenient, not ever to be taken for granted, so very worthy of being defended.
I hope and pray that each of my children grow to know the power of giving life, but realize that the power to grant it is not theirs.