Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Musings, 22 March 2014

Good morning,

A mild air greeted me on the front porch this morning.  I stood, pajama-clad, for several moments and breathed the crisp fragrance of new leaves and damp earth.  The work week had ground to a rocky close yesterday with a client crying in my office.  My words to her gravitated between stern and gentle; I understand her grief at having lost custody but I also appreciate the judge's point of view.

 The woman holds bitterness towards her child's father as he does to her.  The trial in part came down to which of them had the better acting skills.  The father hid his hostility but hers came through as self-righteous indignation. It's anybody's guess as to whether either parent deserves the other's load of blame.  I walked out with her, at five o'clock, and watched her car pull away from the curb as I dialed my husband's number and listened to the telephone ring at the other end.  Maybe it's time for a new career, I thought, a rueful smile slipping to my face.  And then I entered traffic, signalling for the turn to home.

Earlier on Friday, a state worker advised me by e-mail that an appointed client could not get her state-funded tubal ligation due to being pregnant.  "With twins," she added to the sentence, in all caps, underscored.  This will be babies four and five for my twenty-one-year old client.  Her parents, retired folks in their late-sixties, have already adopted children one and two; and also foster child three, who is not yet seven months old.  Now the Children's Division has accelerated its search for Section 8 housing for my client, so that she can at least get off the streets before she suddenly has to raise twins by herself.  I stared at the words on my computer screen.  Pregnant, with twins.  Twins. 

This young lady has an IQ of 68 and once appeared for court in Elmo pajamas with matching slippers.  She thought she looked cute.  She did, in fact; but I could not let her sit in even the dingy courtrooms of Family Court attired like a simpering teenager at a pajama party while I tried to stop the onslaught of the system's inevitable separation of the mother from the unsuspecting children.  At that time, she had only the first two, the oldest being a little girl then two years old, who clutched her grandmother's pant leg and stared at me while her mother cooed at her baby brother as one might a Cabbage Patch doll.

All the stable women longing to bring babies into their barren marriages, and my client pops infants out like sunflower seeds spat upon the sidewalk.

I think about pregnancy as I stand on our porch, cradling the newspapers in the crook of my arm.  I recently completed yet another pile of new-patient information forms for yet another new specialist.  In the "for women" section, I had acknowledged four pregnancies and one live birth.  This is accurate.  I had my first miscarriage in 1978; two more in the late 1980's; and finally had my son in 1991, two months shy of my 36th birthday.  I glance across the driveway at my neighbor's home, where a six-month old baby sleeps.  That child came after several years of trying, thousands of dollars tendered to fertility experts, and a couple of months spent by the mother-to-be resting in the hospital before the little thing eased into the world two months prematurely.  The mother is a civil litigator and a damn fine one; the father is  contractor, whose skills allow him to flip four houses a year to tidy profit.  They are financially comfortable; and lacked only a child to complete the pretty picture.

All the established couples yearning to be parents, while young girls stuck living in poverty seem to have no problem getting pregnant.

I closed my eyes and let the breeze pass across my face, listening to the tinkling of my wind chime.  The neighborhood had not yet awakened.  My gaze wandered over the bungalows up and down our street, houses in which middle-class children had been raised by middle-class parents, who sent their boys and girls to private schools or walked them to the neighborhood public school which has since gone charter.  Our children have grown, now, and some have babies of their own.  My neighbors might well sell their house and find a younger block on which to raise their daughter, with room for a swing set and an extra bedroom in case they decide to adopt.

I wonder, briefly, if they have any interest in twins.  With a last glance at their sleeping house, I turn, go inside, and start the coffee.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

1 comment:

  1. I stood, pajama-clad, for several moments and breathed the crisp ...


The Missouri Mugwump™

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I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.