Thursday, February 16, 2006

One parent to go

Sunday, January 29:

My husband has been harping at me to get a new car for three years. He hates the idea of repairing the same problem again and again. Today we get a new car.

I may be a mom-to-be, but there’s no way I’m driving a minivan. SUVs are on the way out and use too much gas -- besides, my husband drives an SUV, so we don’t need a second one. I searched the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety site (http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx) and also bought a book about cars from Consumer Reports. I narrowed it down to three cars, took them for a test drive, and today we are picking up my favorite of the bunch -- an Infiniti G35.

We had to have the car shipped, and now we’re finalizing everything. It all goes smoothly -- but my husband and I are keeping an eye on the time because of our dinner date with his parents.

An hour later, they arrive with a tree, and for a split second, I’m afraid they already know. Don’t people plant trees when there’s a kid?

But no, thank goodness, the tree is a gift for our upcoming anniversary, and to replace one of the many we lost in a hurricane this year.

They have to take a ride around the block in the new car, and then my husband and I lead the way to an Italian restaurant we “discovered” a few months ago. The food is always good, and everyone’s order tonight is perfect. I realize I’m eating like a lumberjack and force myself to slow down.

When we finish and insist my father-in-law order dessert to celebrate, my husband brings out a birthday gift. I’m waiting, and I’m waiting, and he still keeps the second card -- the baby card -- in his hand under the table.

Our leftovers are getting packed up, and we are some of the last people in the restaurant. What is he waiting for? I think I might really be sick.

Then he hands the card to his dad.

“What’s this?” he asks. “You already gave me a birthday card.”

It’s just some regular stationery I have on hand. But inside is one of the sonogram printouts.

“Well, it’s a sonogram of some kind,” my father-in-law says, turning it this way and that. “I’ve had lots of sonograms, so I know that’s what it is.”

My mother-in-law is just staring.

My husband instructs his dad to look under the sonogram, where he’s written a brief note about “the newest member of the family.”

Now his dad is speechless, but his mom says, “You’re expecting?” and she starts to cry.

She asks me if I feel OK. They say they won’t plan any traveling near the month of September and will do whatever they can -- just let them know.

Then we really are the last people in the restaurant. The very last. We say goodbye to my husband’s parents in the parking lot and drive my new car home.

Three parents down. One to go.

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