The look in her eyes said it all. The disappointment, the fear, and the hope underneath that we would still love her; still see her the same way. Cheyenne is our baby; the youngest of our yours-mine troupe of eight daughters. Yes…Eight.
She and I have this running joke that she is still only nine years old, her age when we first met almost 10 years ago. My teasing always makes her laugh, but is our stupid way of acknowledging our connection. Last year, I decided it was time to advance her pretend age and I sent her one of those little kid cards for a 10-year old. Yesterday was her birthday...she is 19.
Between the sweet corn fritters and shrimp scampi, we learned she is also 9 weeks pregnant. As her Dad went silent, I choked back tears for reasons I still can’t entirely explain. It was not a joyous announcement. More of a confession, "I didn't make it".. She has knowingly or not sabotaged her dreams and some of ours for her died as well.
In the seconds that followed, I thought:
Oh my god, she is so young
Now I know why her boyfriend Ty, proposed in Disneyland last week without asking her Dad's permission first
Is this what she was hinting to us three weeks ago?
This will hurt Joni, my oldest, who is trying to get pregnant while watching everyone around her do it by accident
Abortion? Adoption? Have all the options been discussed? Considered?
I am going to be a step-gramma again... yippee!!
There is a new little spirit that is going to be part of our lives…I wonder if Mom knows her or him?
Could it be a boy? Ty is a boy. He is proof that boys do exist; that people can have boy babies…
Is that what my premonition was about three nights ago?
Why am I fighting back tears? Am I so menopausal, I cry at everything?
Where did the little girl with the muffin top tummy go?
So glad we are here to help, to prepare, to babysit...I wonder if Carter's is still open?
Oh my god, they are so young.
We stood outside the restaurant, wishing time would rewind, wondering how we ever got to this place. "Well, I don't think we will ever forget this birthday" I said. We hugged and she promised to call Annika to tell her the news. I was so grateful that we had come in separate cars. Her Dad and I almost got our doors shut before we both started to cry.