I awakened this morning from a vivid dream in which I was swimming around the bay in the seashore town where I grew up, nine-plus months pregnant with a baby I was planning to name Ruby Madeleine. I was very contented with myself, and using the water as my main mode of transportation around town.
I am, in fact, in that same town, having bid a second farewell to MagSon (oh hell, let's just call him Laurence O.) at his fabulous dorm at Great Big U. Now MagDaughter (Petra!) and I are with Grandpop for a few days, one last chance to walk on the beach and let our hair get frizzy and eat freshly caught flounder before our upstate New York autumn really takes hold.
So I wonder: Am I dreaming of a replacement baby for the child who is, well, sort of launched? (Even as I type that I hear the snickering of the Fates as they peer ahead to see him living at home to age 37...) Or is this baby some kind of connection to my mom, gone for just six months, as I sleep under the roof where she took her final breaths? Last night my father brought out a little plastic box in which my mom kept her caul. The caul is a membrane that covers the face of some babies at birth, and which, my mother told me, was thought by her Irish family to signal that she had the "second sight." In my experience of my mother this felt true-- she was an emotionally powerful woman who did have an uncanny (but perhaps, in the end, simply motherly) way of knowing.
I can't seem to shake the silly joy of my dream pregnancy. It lingered as Petra and I walked through the warm surf this morning, watching the sandpipers run, first toward the waves, and then away from them, and towards, and away.