Last weekend I went to my college five year reunion. I have a ridiculously strong attachment to my college, and not even the "community" per se (since I have basically kept all my closest college friends close), but the place itself. The campus is gorgeous, for one, but it just has this magnetic, almost magical property that makes every inch feel powerfully vital. I was overwhelmed with love for the place the entire time I was there; two of my best college friends and I walked in circles for a whole day, nostalgically soaking up every tidbit of memory we could find. My feet were practically raw by the end because my shoes got so covered in mud during a perambulation through the riverside woods that I had to take them off and walk halfway across the gravel- and Olde English bottle-strewn campus barefoot. Totally worth it.
For this glorious weekend, my dear friend Anna and I stayed in a Bard dorm. Our plan was to recreate the most nostalgia-filled and historically accurate weekend night possible, complete with only making a brief appearance at a campus event, then holing up in someone's dorm room (in this case, our "rented" triple in the dorm Anna had lived in for two years) to play video games, eat fancy snacks, and drink half-decent booze. In hindsight, that last bit might have been ill-advised, but I couldn't have known at the time. Put simply, it was one of the best weekends I've had in ages. I felt reconnected to a place I truly love, absorbed in a powerful friendship, and thoroughly empowered to move forward knowing that so many others from my college had gone on to become real, functioning grown-ups...and parents.
I was kind of caught off-guard by how many of my former classmates and other earlier alumni/ae brought their children to this reunion. Seriously: there were entire acres of campus that had seemingly been taken over by happy family units frolicking, college-student-style, in the lush, probably tick-infested grass. At the fireworks celebrating the class of 2011's commencement, and a whole slew of class reunions (which they always do on the same day, which just sounds logistically hellish, but that's Bard for ya), there were probably hundreds of children running around in the fields, playing in the garden, and generally loving the fact that they were free to roam more or less unbridled through massive crowds of friendly, safe grown-ups. While basking in this familial happiness, I was also feeling a little down about it, but then also feeling kind of silly for feeling a little down.
Why? Well, Ryan and I decided that it was time to give Batman-making a shot last month. This was a pretty surreal process, partly because we were thinking "WTF is up? Are we really doing this?" and partly because every time we *ahem* made an effort, I started quoting Julianne Moore from "The Big Lebowski" while rolling around on my back and laughing like an idiot. It's not that we weren't taking it seriously - I promise, we really did have genuine intentions - but given that it was still two months before our wedding, and statistics say that first tries don't yield babies, we sort of assumed we were just having some carefully timed rolls in the hay, and that was that. Before going to Bard, I had not gotten my period in almost a month, so I figured it was time to responsibly pee on a stick before allowing myself the late-night private boozing my nostalgic side so craved. Negative. I tried again later just to be safe, and negative again.
So...I stopped at the big red barn on my drive down to Bard, and we ended up doing tequila shots on Saturday night while playing Minecraft. It was awesome. I got exhausted quickly that weekend, finding myself practically dozing mid-afternoon on Saturday and begging for sleep by the end of the evening on Sunday. Waking up for school the next day...and the next...was agony. I was so tired driving home both days, in fact, that I seriously considered pulling over to either get a coffee or nap in my backseat. I marked it up to a long recovery time from a long weekend, and the fact that since we're only weeks from the end of the school year, teaching has gotten sort of rough.
On Tuesday night, I was so wiped out that I more or less just blobbed on the couch all night. I was also getting these kind-of, sort-of cramps that made me assume a very late period was on its way. Ryan ran out to the drug store to get me, and I quote "Vitamin D because the weather's been so crappy, and the cheapest two-pack of pee sticks they have." I realized that reading the directions for a home pregnancy test was a task I had actually not done very thoroughly before, given that...uhm...it's just peeing, right?
Pop culture tells women that a home pregnancy test is stupidly easy: any time you think you might be pregnant, you pee on this little plastic thing, then stare at it intently until some configuration of lines, dots, words, or whatever appear to give you your answer. In classic television form, this is best done with at least one girlfriend nearby waiting to scream either in joy or horror, since your impregnator will be too grossed out by something you peed on to respond immediately.
Turns out, there is some nuance to this business. Even the "test before your missed period" tests apparently don't really catch the pregnancy hormone in a urine sample unless you either test first thing in the morning (with very undiluted bodily fluids, and presumably while so sleepy that shock one way or another doesn't really hit you), or unless you are somehow so dehydrated that the hormone jumps right out (and your weakened body and brain, deprived of water, allow you to process the news calmly and sedately). I guess I'd been doing it wrong. Wednesday morning, I woke up, peed on the stick (correctly!), and then spent the next five minutes sitting there wondering if I should wake Ryan up to tell him that it was positive, or go through with my original plan to share the good news.
I decided to wait, and got him this on the way home:
Holy shitsnacks, Batman.