Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Pitter-patter of Little Feet by Leanne Dyck (short story)

What do you do when a dream dies?

photo by ldyck

The Pitter-patter of Little Feet

After calculations and re-calculations--aided by both a hand-held and a wall-sized calendar, Sylvia reasoned that a trip to the drugstore was definitely in order. 

Thoughts of her expanded family--we three--accompanied her every step of the way.

She found the pregnancy tests first. A certain brand dominated the shelves. So she chose that one. But she couldn't just put that box on the counter. She hunted for something more:  band-aids, muscle relaxant, double A batteries, aspirin, mouthwash, hair dye to hide her grey.

She joined the queue leading to the checkout counter and her mind filled with thoughts of the baby she and her husband had dreamed of, longed for, tried for, for so many years. She envisioned the spare room transformed into a cozy nursery. The walls painted sunshine yellow.

"Next customer, please," the cashier called.

Sylvia was relieved to see a new woman behind the till. The others could be so chatty, nosey--too familiar.

The cashier slid each item over the scanner. She paused when she came to the pregnancy test. She waved it around in the air.

Sylvia willed her not to comment.

With a smile, the cashier put the box in the bag. "Hey, I know you."

Sylvia gave her debit card to the woman. "No, I don't--."

"Sylvia Simmons. Yeah. You were my grade two teacher."


At home, Sylvia peed on the stick, danced around the house, and phoned her husband. "When will you be home?"

"You have my schedule. Why, is something wrong?"

"No, something is so right. I'd rather do this face-to-face, but... Are you sitting down?"

"Behind the steering wheel."

"Pull over."

"Okay, just a sec."

Sylvia waited for her husband to maneuver the semi. When he said, "Shoot." she said, "Do you know how we've been trying?"

He said, "Really!" with so much excitement. Silence.

She worried that he hadn't pulled over... That maybe... Was his truck sideways in the ditch?  "Are you still there?"

"Yeah, I'm here. It's just... Maybe... Are you sure?"

"Of course, I'm sure. A woman knows these things. And I know I am--we are pregnant." It was the first time she'd said that magical word and her heart sang it.

"Have  you seen the doctor?"


"Well, maybe you should, soon. You know before you--we get our hopes up."

They both knew that their hopes couldn't get any higher.

Sylvia made an appointment.


Doctor Lee's office was decorated in a style Sylvia dubbed proud parent:  tons of crayon art on the walls, dried play-dough creations on the shelves. Sylvia usually thought it looked tacky, but not today. Today she thought it was cute.

Examinations, tests Doctor Lee did them all. Finally, she was ready to share the findings and Sylvia was eager to hear the good news. 

"How far along am I?" Sylvia thought maybe two months but she wasn't sure.

"Far along?"

"I imagine it's too early to know if I'm carrying a boy or a girl."

"You think you're pregnant."

"I know I am."

Doctor Lee said something about Sylvia's age and menopause. Right about then things started to go blurry for Sylvia. It was like she was having an out of body experience. "But the pregnancy test confirmed that I'm..."

"Those tests aren't foolproof."

Doctor Lee said something that was meant to be uplifting, but the words didn't reach Sylvia's brain. The doctor handed Sylvia a pamphlet on 'The Joy of Ageing.' Sylvia stuffed it into the bottom of her purse.

Summer became autumn, autumn became winter, winter became spring. Sylvia gained weight in her thighs, ankles, and calves--more than around her waist. She had cravings but no morning sickness. 

Knowing her disappointment, her husband was very sweet--massaging her shoulders, rubbing her feet. One day he whispered, "Let's adopt."

Together, hand-in-hand, they went to their local animal rescue shelter. From cage to cage, they stopped in front of a Maltipoo. 

And no dog was ever loved as much.

Next Sunday evening...

Book Review

The Wife
Meg Wolitzer

A novel about being an award-winning author and the price the family must pay told from the spouse's viewpoint.

On Mayne Island...

Books on Mayne grand re-opening

new owner Gail Noonan 
used books, special orders and local interest

My husband and I enjoyed our a recent visit and walked away
with books in hand.

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