I really didn’t know who to call. Normally, I can share anything with Mags, but I wasn’t sure she would understand the anxiety I was feeling. Edie and Gail would probably resent me for not being elated and Sarah might burst into tears. I wondered if I knew Chloe well enough to tell her I was late. My cycle is never late. I keep track of it on the kitchen calendar with coded symbols that only I understand. But I surely was three days late. Too soon to visit the doctor but not too soon to panic. I felt bloated too. I took the children to the club and kept my baggy t-shirt on the whole time we were there. Later, I was cranky with Steve.

Chloe must have seen me sitting on the back steps smoking and came over to sit with me. I wasn’t my usual happy self but she didn’t press. In fact, she got up and walked away. I saw her pull her shears out of her apron pocket and start to cut some flowers from her garden. I was a little upset at her lack of caring until she returned a few minutes later with a bouquet that she handed to me. She had somehow taken a long green stem, stripped it of its leaves and woven it into a tie to hold it together. I took it from her and inwardly berated myself for reacting so selfishly when Chloe went to do something nice for me. I talked a good game about letting life happen but knew that being pregnant would replace my school plans with more years of diapering. The children were already in school, our life had an ease to it after years of work, and I was headed backwards. That sounded harsh even in my head. On the other hand, another baby would be okay; I loved my children. I could probably go back to school in a couple of years again. Or give it up and just be a good mom to three great kids.

I looked over at Chloe and gave her a very weak smile. It was then I realized Chloe’s superpower. She didn’t judge. She just let me be happy or sad or in between. I asked her what kind of flower the large one was because it was so unfamiliar. She waited a half-second and chuckled a little. I like her laugh and I knew something smart was coming. According to Chloe, it was a laissez-faire flower. That sounded familiar but I still didn’t get it. Chloe poked me in the arm and we got up and I went inside.

I pulled down a crystal vase for the bouquet. I still didn’t know what Chloe had been trying to tell me, but just like that beautiful flower, I would find my place with this concern. I put the vase on the dining room table and set it carefully for dinner. I have pretty things and need to use them and keep a beautiful home. If there was a surprise coming, the time to enjoy life as much as possible was right now. Time would take care of my other worries.

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