Scout went on it’s first trip with us this weekend. We flew. We stayed at my brother and his partner’s (Isaac and Sarah’s) house on the remote side of Nevada City with my sister (Nina) and her husband (Haygen). Isaac picked us all up from the airport in Sacramento and drove us an hour and a half away on winding roads to his house on the Woolman compound. I say compound for lack of a better word. He lives on the grounds of what was once a Quaker school, but is now divided into dwellings and places to meet for social progress and ceramic gatherings. The weekend we visited there happened to be a non-violent communication gathering just outside his kitchen window and a ceramic wood firing just a stone’s throw away. Perhaps some people participated in both events but I didn’t inquire. I suppose if we had been there during the heat of July we could have been witness to a nudist gathering and a vegan chili cook-off for peace; but that’s just what I imagine- beans and hair everywhere.
When we pulled up to my brother’s house from our drive there were a few barefoot thirty-something year olds standing on the porch staring at us, one of them pregnant and ready to burst. I immediately began wondering about my brother’s living choices. As I got out of the car I waved and passed an awkward smile towards them. They were about twenty feet away, but did not respond like they saw me say hello- instead, they just stared at me as if a penis had sprouted out of my forehead. Luckily at that moment, Sarah walked out of the house directly behind this one to greet us and I was able to direct my attention elsewhere.
Sarah and Isaac led us into their house where we sat and talked about our next few days together that would include some hikes and meals, games and drinks, and an apple crisp that would unknowingly elude us our entire visit. We learned that the pregnant woman next door would be giving birth soon at her house, which shared the duplex walls of my brother’s. We all hoped it would not happen within the next few days, as we preferred not to hear the miracle of life. It wasn’t so much the muffled sounds of a television hospital drama that would bother us, but more so the sounds of an intimate moment the family would be experiencing. Kylie especially wasn’t too excited to listen to what she would be experiencing in seven months.
We didn’t know exactly how were going to break it to our gathered family that we were pregnant. I had an idea, and began to try to accomplish it by sending everyone present a group text with an image of our dog balancing the “pregnant” pregnancy test on her nose. I learned quickly that there was not enough cell reception in the area to send an image. And then I realized I couldn’t even get a text out at all. My only idea was a failure. Luckily, within minutes of conversation and planning the weekend, Sarah offhandedly asked Kylie if she would be partaking in any drinking this weekend- more as a joke than anything else- when Kylie replied no, she was pregnant, there was quick silence, and then a few “Reallys?!” and “You’re joking right??” And then the expected excitement and questions followed. The cat was out of the bag.
The weekend wasn’t affected too much by Scout though- so I say. Kylie was a little more tired than usual and it was noticeable. She fell asleep to the world on the couch the first night with all of us playing games and bottling kombucha. We did a nice six mile hike along the Yuba river the next day that felt great for all of us. The next hike, a day or two later, was along some cliffs over Lake Tahoe. Scout got the best of Kylie here- she gets tired easy right now. We stopped about halfway and decided to turn around. On the walk back I wondered how many times I, as an unborn thing in my mom’s stomach, affected her day to day.
I’m pretty sure all of us felt sympathetic towards Kylie this weekend. We are used to her having all the energy and keeping us on the move, so of course we poked a little fun at her. All in all, she was a great sport and kept up with us and had some non-alcoholic drinks when we were out. She played pool with us at a racy old people bar. She ate her burger well done. Her intolerance for my stupid jokes was only slightly noticeable, but that’s to be expected- my stupid jokes. But all in all we had a fantastic trip and can only be summed up by this smile…