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"Are You My Mother?"

I moved into the line for the ferris wheel. There was a boy towards the front who I had never seen before, but I knew that he was part of our family. I joined the line right behind him to hold places for everyone else: Mom, Dad, AJ, Faye, Ben, Connor. But I was on the lookout, for I had just given birth, and my child should be here…somewhere.

In the meantime, I talked with the boy, and we hit it off right away. He latched himself to me, little arms and legs winding around, and I held him close. “Are you my mother?” he asked.

“No,” I said, for I was sure if I had just given birth, my child must still be an infant. “But your mother is coming soon. Don’t worry.”

He relaxed in my arms, and I deeply felt the loss of his tight embrace. I tried to keep the mood light-hearted, but to no avail. Finally I said, “I’m going to go look for your mother. I’ll be back.” And with that I left the line and went off on strange, nonsensical adventures.

When I returned to the line, I’d found Sean and Grandma Flo and brought them back with me. The boy was still there, crying miserably. His mother hadn’t found him yet. My family was there too, and Faye was comforting the boy.

I looked at them and just stopped. There was something about the boy…and it seemed wrong for him to be in Faye’s arms.

“Faye,” I said, “is that my son?”

“Of course,” Faye responded, as if she wondered how on earth I wouldn’t know my own child.

“I’m sorry,” I cried, gathering him up and holding him tight. “I’m so sorry, I am your mother.” He latched on again, and again I felt a completeness I have never felt before. I knew I would hold him for the rest of my life.

I woke up then, and all the nonsense bits of the dream faded away as I remembered the main thing: I had not recognized my own baby, and I’d had to ask Faye if he was mine. I sat up in bed, still waking up, and stared at the floor. Sean rolled over and rubbed my arm, so I turned and smiled at him, then rose, collected my glasses and wedding rings, and left the room.

In the bathroom, hunched over on the toilet, I bawled. I haven’t cried like that ever, as far as I can remember. Face twisted up, sobs coming unforced, tears streaming down, quiet, plaintive wailing. I let myself do that for awhile before getting back up, washing my face, and going back to the bedroom to cradle Sean in my arms like I would hold a child. He lay against my breast and I kissed the top of his head, and I stroked along his back, wondering if I ever would hold a child…our child.

I have gained weight recently because I find it hard to be healthy, but I realized something as I sat there holding my husband. Being overweight decreases my chances of being able to carry a child properly. While my ovaries are a huge question mark, I have been told that I can at least physically carry…but if I don’t take care of my body, I imagine I’m destroying any slight chances I do have.

I’m going to try…I’m going to work to lose weight before November, because that is when Sean and I are going to go see an OB/GYN.

I have to.