TITLE: Cuckoo's Cradlesong
GENRE: Adult Memoir
“You think if we have a kid now, you’ll resent it?” he asked.
I groped for a way to convey what I felt. “Because it’s going to use me up,” I said. “It’s going to suck me dry and there will be nothing left.”
“Suck you dry?” he repeated, trying to smother a smile. “You make it sound like we’d be raising a vampire, not a baby.”
“What I mean is, if taking care of you and the dog and my students already pushed me to a breakdown, what’s adding a baby going to do?” I looked at him with anguish, and then dropped my eyes to the floor, ashamed of my fear and selfishness.
“I’m afraid parenthood might drive me to a point I can’t come back from.” I thought of the knife and how close I’d come to an extremely final decision. I sighed. “Maybe if I could give up teaching, it would be better but…” My voice trailed off.
“But we can’t afford food, much less doctors and medicine on just my salary,” finished Ruymán. “I know. I’m sorry about that. I wish it was different.”
“I could always get a different job,” I suggested. “Maybe something that didn’t require sixty-hour work weeks?” Between the time in the classroom and the late nights grading papers, teaching ate up all the time I threw at it and it was still never enough.
Ruymán nodded. “A new job could be good. Let’s give it a try.”