Next day Sue shared with her Mother, Elizabeth some of the discussions she and Tom had the previous night.
“I’m glad you shared this with me Sue. I’ve been worried about you and Tom for a long time. Your programs keep you both apart too much, and it’s inevitable you’ll drift apart, unless you both plan activities so you’ve more time for each other. You’re lucky you can both do creative things, and have freedom to plan time for each other into your programs. My situation’s quite different. It’s so incredibly difficult for me to do things around the home as an invalid. It takes most of the day to attend to housekeeping needs, which you could probably do in an hour. I know you come every day to try and help out, but it’s important for me to feel I can still do things for myself too. So, I have to balance my need for leisure and socializing with my need to feel independent and useful. Take some of the time you usually visit with me and do something with Tom instead. I’ll survive, and I know I can call you if I need help.”
“Thanks Mum, you always make a lot of sense. I may take you up on that! I guess another stress point is heading our way though, and I will have to take that into account in replanning my life with Tom.”
“What do you mean Sue?” Elizabeth looked at her daughter anxiously.
“I tested myself this morning and came up positive, then phoned my boss and told him I may be late to work. I called in to see the Doc on the way, just to check on my self-test. Looks like I’m pregnant Mum! I guess I should have told Tom first, but I’m sure you won’t tell him you know. He’d be so disappointed to be the third one to know I’m carrying his child. I’m so excited Mum, but frightened too, as we’re not financially secure yet.”
“What exciting news! Don’t worry, everything will work out. You’re not the first woman to be surprised when a baby knocks at the door. You’re not a planned baby yourself! We got along very well in spite of that, and your Father was so happy when you arrived. No one could separate you two. I wish he were alive to hear this good news today. It’ll be a girl!”
“I miss him too! Did you say a girl; how do you know?”
Tom came home looking stressed that evening, and Sue wondered if this was the right time to surprise him with the news. She decided to anyway. It would have been impossible for her to keep this news to herself when she was so excited, and dear, sweet, insightful Tom would eventually notice the electricity in the air. She’d been practicing what to say while she waited for him to come home, but when the news finally came out, it did so in joyous outburst.
“Tom, I’m pregnant!”
Tom continued to calmly remove his jacket and methodically stack office work on the desk for the weekend. He was thinking of how well his presentation had been accepted by the board that afternoon, and how this could help him move another notch up the ladder. It was good to feel appreciated.
He glanced at Sue and saw a look of bewilderment and hurt in her eyes. What had he done now? He was still revelling in the afterglow from the evening before, but Sue looked unhappy again. She’d been saying something. What was it she said? That must be the key!
“Sorry darling, I guess I was preoccupied. What were you saying?”
Sue let out a huge sob and fled from the room. Tom stood with his mouth open for a moment and then rushed after her. “Oh Sue!” He grabbed her and held her tight while she sobbed uncontrollably into his shoulder. “What’s the matter Sue?”
“I’m pregnant, and you don’t even care!”
Tom held her at arms length and stared at her. “What?”
“We’re going to have a baby and you’re not happy about it!”
A smile slowly widened as Tom took it all in. Office and career took a back seat as he reached out and swept her into his arms. “I care, I’m happy! We should phone my parents and tell them right away. We need to phone your Mother and tell her. This is great news!”
Sue stopped weeping and tentatively surveyed her husband. “You’re happy? Then why didn’t you look happy when I told you the first time?”
“Because your husbands a fool!” Tom laughed happily.
Sue held him tightly. She knew both of them would have to do a lot of work if they were to negotiate a happy balance in their marriage. She wanted desperately to find that balance, and would now have to deal with the problem in the context of looming changes in her own life over the next few months.
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