Most of my memories are associated with food. A pink cake at my grandmother’s house for my sixth birthday. Peas and noodles and hamburgers for dinner at our old house. Pizza with my roommates in college. Peanut Buster Parfaits the week before the Girls were born.
After about nine weeks on bedrest, you start to get a little punchy. The television programs that you watch have lost their luster. Grahm Kerr pining about the virtues of an exotic fruit doesn’t turn you into a cook, but you think it does. Murder, She Wrote becomes even more formulaic than in the past. Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich becomes the highlight of the day. And attempting to keep up on classes has become even more taxing than if you actually attended the classes.
So, it’s not wonder that when the first nice spring day roles around, you’re only too happy for your fiance to go play basketball with a friend. No sense in both of you feeling like the walls are closing in on you. But the thing about boys . . . they often get very enthusiastic about their games. And it’s never really a game until someone gets hurt. Crutches. Sprained ankle. Joy.
The next day, neither one of us is feeling rather spiffy. Me: 36 weeks pregnant with Brethine running through my veins. Him: crutches and weighed down by a student teaching position that is beyond painful. Our remedy was a trip across the Ohio-Indiana state line for two Peanut Buster Parfaits. I’m not sure who looked more pathetic, him hobbling out of the car or me waddling to a bench. I don’t even know what we discussed during the sunny afternoon out. Probably trying to figure out what came next. What if a job didn’t materialize. How could be possibly make this work. We laughed. He held my hand. I probably spilled a fair amount of ice cream. And soon it was over. Time to head home. Back to bed. Back to waiting. Back to the unknown.
Twenty-one years is a long time to mull things over. But most things remain the same. We laughed. He held me hand. I spilled some ice cream . . . and the Peanut Buster Parfaits tasted as good as they did all those years ago.
* It was the number one song on the day we had our first Dairy Queen adventure.