Last summer, I was pregnant and not just pregnant, REALLY pregnant – I had managed to pack on 33 pounds and looked like a dwarf planet walking around sweating like a human dwarf planet would sweat in 90+ degrees in Philadelphia in the summer. My feet were sore and I couldn’t consume enough Gatorade to get rid of the invariable dehydrated cotton mouth feeling that was my constant companion.
One super hot Saturday in the middle of July I decided to head off to Target to get one last thing (there would be many one last things) for the nursery and bask in the glow of full powered central air conditioning. I backed out of the parking spot behind my house (which, I would like to add leads into a very narrow city-like alleyway) and I immediately heard the crunch of metal on metal. My natural instincts kicked in and screamed “FLEE!!!” and without hesitation I checked to make sure none of my neighbors were out back witnessing my adolescent flight response… and I gunned my car out of the alleyway and on the road to Target.
I tried to forget all about it and concentrate on my raging heartburn instead but I started feeling really guilty, and the constant stream of “no one saw you do it – no one saw you do it” running through my head wasn’t making that guilt lessen. I thought of the time I side swiped a small red coupe in the parking lot of my high school and how I was able to drive off without a second thought. I thought of that time while living in California when I forgot to engage my emergency break and my car rolled back into a Terminex truck and I was able to re-park it and go take part in whatever illicit activity I was engaged in where they might need termite control.
But I still felt bad, even after getting to the store and checking the back of my car and discovering there was barely a scratch on it…. I did my shopping and went home. I did an inspection of my neighbor’s car and discovered a big gash is the front quarter panel of his ridiculously delicate mid-life crisis class of car.
It took me three hours of searching what my best friend would call my feelers to discover that my guilt ridden conscience was not going to wipe itself clean. I thought maybe it was because I couldn’t drink my guilt away… But eventually from the back of my head, somewhere deep inside my cerebellum came an obnoxious screamy voice shouting “YOU ARE GOING TO BE A MOM – IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT TO TEACH YOUR KID. What would your Mom have done?”
I immediately came clean to my husband, who gave me a very stern ”I’m so disappointed in you” glare but who agreed to walk over to the neighbors house and ‘get my back’ in case anyone tried to hit his pregnant wife.
This was the first time I fully realized everything was going to change.