Today has been Day 5 of a cold that started out very mild and now has taken over my lungs and brain. Pretty much the only thing I accomplished all day was a short bike ride to  buy some bagels at the local Jewish bakery. Basically once you’ve tried those bagels, the pathetic imitations available at Safeway don’t compare. It becomes a powerful addiction, such that you would set off down a steep hill in heavy traffic, hacking and wheezing, to pick up a dozen frozen bagels.  They will be totally worth the burning in my lungs from biking back up the hill.

Tonight my parents had me over for an early 29-th birthday dinner, I spent most of the evening on their couch blowing my nose into the toilet roll I brought over in my purse. In normal circumstances, I am a stalwart handkerchief woman, but when this kind of cold strikes, there’s nothing for it but to switch to toilet paper.  You’re welcome for the mental image.  My angry red nose is at the forefront of my thoughts right now.

Over appel, I mean apple pie, my mom cleared her throat and said “So.  You’re almost 29!  You should think about having children.  Don’t wait until you’re 40.”

My mom was 39 when she gave birth to me, and in those days that was (apparently) scarcely believed possible. I have friends in their late thirties still waiting for their ducks to get in a row to have that first baby, but apparently in 1980  it was totally shocking.  Mom had thought she and dad couldn’t have kids together at all, since they had been trying for a long time. I believe they subscribed to the folk wisdom then popular that if you had sex in really uncomfortable positions that it would make conception more likely.  When it still didn’t happen, they gave up.

Then finally, years later, I appeared.  Mom had all sorts of complications which she doesn’t know the medical names for (I suspect a calcified placenta).  One story is that there was something wrong with her placenta and only half of it worked, and my mother understood this to mean there was only a 50% chance that I would be normal and healthy.  Maybe there was another reason  it was a high risk pregnancy. Anyways, the outcome is, somewhat naturally her moderate level of anxiety about me getting to the babies already!

I don’t really talk to my mom about this stuff.  I’m generally most comfortable keeping her at an arms length from my innermost plans, because she tends to get very invested in them.  But I did tell her that right now my top two priorities have to be finishing school, and finding some kind of job.

That’s the truth. The tentative plan, should I be lucky enough to find a job in whatever remains of the economy if/when I graduate by the fall of 2010, is to set a date then for trying for a baby. Maybe we could start trying right away after I find a job. Z is a few years older than me so he’s certainly on board for trying sooner than later. Nonetheless, I spent most of my wasted youth traveling the world and playing in bands instead of getting on with grad school. I don’t regret these things, but there it is. We’ve still got some waiting to do. I am trying to enjoy it.  Like now, for instance, when I am free to be a giant sick baby myself.

Sickness brings out the most pathetic comfort-seeker in folks – at least in me.  The big teddy bear that a roommate gave me for 20th? birthday had to come out of the closet for me to lay my head on.  The cats think this fake fur is the greatest thing ever.  A cat is currently reclining on  top of the giant bear’s torso right now, with her paw stretched protectively over the bear’s shoulder.  At least I am in excellent company while Z is out of town! 

I do believe the time has come to knock myself out with cold medication, wrest the teddy bear from the cat, and sleep for 12 hours!