Little Moira's 23 weeks haven't always been easy, or peaceful, but the whole Glass/Kamen household has been focused enough to offer some sort of approximation of it. Babies require an exhausting amount of attention, but they also seem to make people want to help, and for the most part, whenever I feel like I'm in over my head, Mom tends to choose being the grandma that loves her little peanut more than the mother who just can't understand the decisions her son has made.
Dad's been great too, he just adores Little Moira and I think he's kind of impressed with my commitment to making sure she gets a good start. As much as he's pretty sure he wouldn't have let a man sleep with him in a current situation (though he gets real quiet when Krystle reminds him it's not always in the woman's hands), he allows himself more doubt about what would come next. Going through pregnancy, breast-feeding, and all that sounds like it would be a real hit to your self-image, and he says that when he was growing up, he might not have been able to accept that.
Krystle has been a lot of help, too. She sometimes looks at me and Little Moira with a little bit of dread, because it's a future she didn't exactly choose but one she can't avoid if she wants to be herself again. And she does; for as much as she enjoys having sex with girls, she says that's mostly horny teenage boy biology. She sighs at seeing groups of girls together at the mall, especially when she thinks they're comparing notes about her, and gets really frustrated that white small-town New Hampshire isn't really cool with teenage boys wearing earrings, chains, or other sorta of jewelry. She's not really into camping, driving, pick-up sports or a lot of the other things my male friends are into. It's a good thing, she says, that she likes the little sinker and that something in terms of being both Krystle and Jonah makes her feel connected to Little Moira even if she had no part in making her.
But even if we both don't exactly feel right when we look in the mirror, we feel pretty good about what we're doing. I'll admit, I felt a twinge of jealousy when watching Krystle do my high school graduation for me, especially since I really like the girl she was paired with as the class walked into the stage. I'm not going to get to do that, and the reason why makes me feel like a failure and a disappointment at times. On the other hand, she certainly helped earn it, and I think that she even appreciates it more the second time around than most of the kids around her do, let alone how she felt the first time she did it. She was marking time, she said, not really accomplishing anything in a school that worked as a conveyor belt so long as you were more into sex than violence. This time, she says, she's really come out of it with a feeling for what she can do.
I'm also feeling a bit more at peace with my body after giving birth, and it's not just a matter of a
period being no big thing after you've carried a baby down there and pushed her out. It's like, even though my breasts are even bigger and bouncier than they were, feeling like they're actually useful rather than just something guys stare at is a big deal. I mean, having a kid suckling you is kind of weird when you think about it, but at least she's getting something out of it. Heck, even this butt I've got makes a little more sense when I'm carrying Little Moira on a hip.
(I'm still a little uncomfortable wearing tops or dresses with cleavage even though they can make breast-feeding easier, let alone doing that in public. Moira, Missy, Krystle, and a lot of other girls I know say that hiding something natural and useful like that is silly, even if you believe in modesty most of the time, but I've got a hard time seeing it that way. Heck, I wasn't even sure I was going to breast-feed at first, but when little Moira had just been born and they were full, going through the process of mixing and heating formula up just seemed silly.)
So, we were in pretty good shape, at least until yesterday, when we got an envelope from the State Department and it was a passport for "Jonah Glass" and Mom wanted to know just what Krystle intended to do with that.
Krystle said it was pretty obvious - once we agreed that I wouldn't be going back to the Inn this summer because it wouldn't be right for there to be nobody with the body of the baby's mother for even a few days during the first year of her life, Krystle said she'd remain as me, but "Jonah" would take a year off before starting college, since she and I aren't interested in the same subjects and there was no point in her giving me a bad start. Since the odds of her being able to travel any time soon after changing back were pretty low, she figured she'd better get as much of it in as she could before returning to the Inn.
Dad tried to look at it practically, asking how she'd afford it, and Krystle said she'd been saving up from her after-school job and had actually bumped that pretty close to full time since graduation, and she's been reading up on hostels, trains, water crossings. It was a great big adventure, maybe the last she'd have for twenty years.
This didn't satisfy Mom, who asked why they should just let her go off where they couldn't keep an eye on her and maybe steal my life for good. It was a fair question, from one perspective, but not from Krystle's. She did not like Mom talking about "letting" her do anything, pointing out that even if she didn't look like a grown-a-- woman right now, it's not like they could keep their real son on a leash if that's what I had decided I wanted to do after graduation. I squirmed a bit, not wanting to be brought into this but knowing that I couldn't help but be part of any disagreement between Krystle and my folks. Still, when they looked at me, I said I was done with big vacations where I didn't know exactly what I was getting into for a while.
Normally, that's the sort of thing where Krystle laughs with me, but she just wasn't in the mood. She was sick of being treated like a nuisance as soon as she was out of earshot of people who didn't know she wasn't me, and that our taking the idea that she would spend the rest of her life being some person's mother because of choices other people made for granted was crap. She points at me, saying not to get her wrong, she really wants to have all that again, especially since she has worked a whole H--- of a lot harder at getting her mind into a place where she didn't feel like she would fall into the same bad habits than some other people she knew (which, by the way, she also doesn't feel she gets enough credit for), and if a kid is the price of that, fine, but we need stop acting like we're doing her a favor rather than vice versa, and not put up such a d--- fuss when she tries to do something for herself. Then she grabbed the passport off the table and went back out the door, slamming it behind her.
Mom and Dad tried to wait up for her, though I really can't tell whether they'll go for understanding where she's coming from or "don't throw tantrums if you want us to treat you like a mature adult"; it really could be either one. I tried to argue on her behalf, but I don't know how much they really listen to me when I do that. It's not just that I'm the one making her a single mother and sort of a screw-up, but sometimes being changed is like being black or a woman or broke - it's different and a lot of people who've never been in the situation just don't understand how.
I also want to confess that, when she slammed the door, I did have this really scary moment where the main thought in my mind was "what if she doesn't come back?" It's a really selfish thought and I hope God can forgive me for it, especially since thinking that first and foremost is just the thing she was complaining about, and I feel like I really should have been able to see that better than anyone. We're asking so much of her and I'm not sure what I can do to make things more right.