Saturday, January 13, 2007

He Grew Up

A little bit about last night…
We celebrated everything at a one-room Mexican joint barely bigger than my apartment. She wanted somewhere in the neighborhood, he didn’t care—just so long that it was a break from pasta and red wine. He was in town from Rome.
The friends chose. We set our sights on ‘uncomplicated’ and ‘real’—the former being the converse of their relationship, the latter explaining why it finally worked. The room was small and warm and for the longest time we were the only customers. Hot pink and white-checked table cloths, cool metal chairs, salty chips in plastic baskets, saucers of thin, piquant salsa. Margaritas were small and $5 and, for once, she was good. Hers was nothing more than lime juice, water, sweetener.
She’s pregnant, newly engaged (yes, in that order) and luminous. Everything has come full circle for her. It’s beautiful. You see, she’s 39 and didn’t think it would happen. But she’s made me realize that things can and do work themselves out—at God’s pace, not ours. He put his arm around her (the Italian, not God), both weary and excited from the flight and the news and spoke of their bambino. They talked about him trying to give her a “very, very good Christmas gift” and that it had worked. “Made in Italy” should be stamped on the baby’s bottom, we joked. April means a wedding at St. James-by-the-Sea and then to find an apartment together in Milan. She insists on a washer and dryer for the cotton diapers and an air-conditioner for the hot months. They’ll have a Virgo baby and it feels to be a boy. She speaks in hushed tones with the waiter but I can hear her; she wants her mole sauce on the side because she read somewhere that chocolate is bad for the baby. So dear (and probably wrong).
I’m proud of her, of them, and that she didn’t put up with his nonsense and left him when she needed to. He came back, across the Atlantic in his time (or God’s time) and became a man. He grew up. They’re having a baby and a life together.

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