I remember attending a job fair in college and chatting for a while with an FBI recruiter. I’ve always liked the idea of having information that no one else has, and I’m sure this partly explains why I ended up in journalism. These past few months have alleviated my FBI and CIA dreams though. Playing the double agent is stressful.
When I get the inevitable, “Is this your second?” question, I choose my answer based on who is asking. If I expect to have the person in my life for a while, I talk about Genevieve. With strangers, I keep quiet about her and then paste a smile on my face while they rattle through all of their other questions — due date, gender, etc.
I’ve failed in my categorizing though. Eleanor is playing soccer this fall, and I decided not to go into detail with the families there because I didn’t expect to see them after the season ended. I underestimated the length of this season. Between practice and games, I spend two hours a week on the sidelines with these folks. We have only two topics of conversation — the bumblings of our beloved team, the Chickens, and the baby in my belly.
I grit my teeth through the interrogations. “Doesn’t the second pregnancy go so much faster?” and “Are you ready for the baby?” And I grit my teeth through the warnings. “Adding a second kid doesn’t just double the work. It triples it!”
Soccer moms are ruthless.
I am exhausted from putting up this front of normalcy. I envision screaming: “I sure hope that this baby triples the work! I hope that I am up in the middle of the night for feedings and buried beneath piles of laundry! That is my dream!”
Greg’s office is having a party in two weeks that we have decided I will not attend. Greg hasn’t told most of his co-workers about this project of ours, and if I attend, his cover will be blown. Not only would we endure questioning from dozens of attendees, but he would spend every day until his paternity leave dodging more bullets. I’d like for one of us to come out of this as unscathed as possible, so I’m staying underground.