It is raining again in Houston....75 degrees and raining, in March. I would be lying if I said that I didn't love it. What is not to love? I can run out to my car in my bare feet without getting hypothermia or frostbite. I can play with Honey outside while sitting on a folding camping chair and reading People magazine in the sunshine. If I were inclined to ride a bicycle or jog a couple of blocks, I could do that. That is part of the beauty of living in a sub-tropical climate. The downside of Houston weather is that I've got four more months to go before my son makes his appearance in the world and it's only getting hotter from here. I'm already sleeping in nothing but a t-shirt, and waking up drenched in sweat. Between the sweating, the peeing and the crying once the baby is born, it's not likely that I'm going to get a full night's sleep until sometime in the next decade or so....right around junior's fifth birthday.
That's life, right? At least life for a pregnant woman living in a town that one of my friends christened, "Hell on Earth". But regardless of where you live, what is the difference between a "pregnant woman" and a "knocked up" woman? I can tell you that my Dad abhors the latter phrase, especially when I'm standing in the kitchen, muttering into a pot of spaghetti, "What do I know? I'm just knocked up 24 year-old living with my parents." To me, though, being knocked up is more a state of being rather than an actual socio-economic classification. A 'pregnant woman' probably had someone hand her a towel and rub her back after she puked up cranberry juice and an Egg McMuffin during her first trimester. A 'knocked up woman' had to go to her midwife alone when she was sick because the baby's Daddy was too hung over to go with her. I imagine a 'pregnant woman' going with her partner to lovingly hand-select each item on her baby registery, while a 'knocked up' woman wonders if she should even bother putting the father's name on the birth certificate. 'Pregnant women' get to share in the excitement of other 'pregnant women' while a 'knocked up woman' lives a life punctuated by people that would be happy for her if they didn't see her headed for financial and emotional disaster.
Any age, race, sexuality or class of woman can be 'knocked up'. It really is non-discriminatory, marked only by the opposing characteristics of strength and dispair. I don't even view it as a deragatory phrase. It just is. By proclaiming my 'knocked up' status, I'm saying that my baby is joining a long line of other babies that were born out of love in the worst circumstances. That's all, Dad. I'm not saying that I'm completely alone or that I don't appreciate all the love from my friends and family. Trust me, I do. Most of all, though, I will always be grateful for you and Mom: for the love, support and kindness that you have given to me and your grandson, no matter what words are tainted by my sarcasm.