journal excerpt: October 30 (pumpkins and personal information)

Two things, both cause for hope and evidence of growth:

First, on Tuesday, unexpectedly, I realized I had started menstruating again. It's been almost exactly a year since I stopped taking the pill, and it's good to know that my body is no longer afraid for its life. It's finally saying that it's healthy, strong enough to carry a fetus, to spare a little blood every month. I actually feel as though I have received a grateful, congratulatory message. And I am, perhaps stupidly, proud of my little ovaries and uterus for rallying like this.

Second, yesterday evening, after supper, after we'd watched Troy and Laura had gone home, Tim and I sat on the kitchen floor and carved our pumpkins.

Mine started out as a LOTR elf, and ended up as a Hindu goddess. Tim made a face on either side of his - a goomba, and a slit-nosed, mawing leer. For almost exactly a year, any event we have tried to make festive or special has dissolved into a fight, and been followed by sickening resentment and disappointment. But somehow last night was cozy and fun.

We admired each other's progress, though we felt slightly competitive. We sat in companionable silence. We shoveled off the floor together. We extinguished every light in the house to admire the jacks once they were lit. Simple happiness, our sense of conspiracy - I've missed that desperately. It's been too long.