The mind is such an impressionable thing.
It leads you places you probably shouldn't visit as easily as it takes you on a hearty, after-dinner constitutional with friends. Which is where my mind started to wander.
Right away you'll want to stop me.
But you can not.
Our houseguest wasn't imbibing. She had politely refused the wine with dinner and the cocktails at brunch. She had curbed other things, too.
Like caffeine and sweets and soft cheeses.
In addition to the fancy foods she had procured to add to the fancy meals we'd planned over the course of this glorious three-day weekend, she had brought her own herbal tea, too. She didn't want to deplete my store.
I had noticed and disregarded the information - or so I thought.
I knew enough to stop myself. The light at the end of this tunnel could be nothing other than a train.
We are, after all, of a certain age, with a certain amount of relief that our children can be trusted alone for the time it takes to complete an evening stroll.
Such "evidence" therefore is no longer self-evident.
I wasn't going there.
We joked about our lives being perfect now that we are older and wiser, and now that our kids can make their own peanut butter sandwiches.
And we joked about how our lives could only be more perfect had we the forethought to adopt the right cat; instead of harboring the one that shreds our couch, claws our walls, spills the water bowl and terrorizes any and all guests while they are sleeping.
I even went as far as to virtually prank them with a photo of the aforementioned feline, who I happened to catch as she made herself cozy in their open luggage, the photo of which I uploaded to Instagram as our friends were packing their car.
For whatever reason, the crazy, hair-brained notion managed to worm its way into my head long after we had said our goodbyes and had waved at their fading taillights from the porch in our stockinged feet.
My reason, apparently, was exhaustion and its proximity to the twilight between sleep and standing.
I had climbed into bed, but hadn't closed my eyes, when my husband - his face illuminated by the blue-light of his cellphone - made what seemed like an announcement:
"The cat is out of the bag."
I looked over his shoulder at his phone to see the Facebook profile of the friends who had just spent the weekend.
My mind churned with fuzzy recollections. Snippets of conversations returned to form new understandings. A little envy reared its shrunken head.
Somehow I fell asleep believing it all amounted to the pitter patter of little feet.
Of course, when I awoke the next morning it felt as if I hadn't slept.
I went for a run to clear the brain fog, and then for coffee at the shops.
The idea settled in that a new little member of our extended family would be arriving, even though the due date as of this moment was still uncertain.
Later on, at dinner, I mentioned it in passing. Or, more specifically, I mentioned my twinge of jealousy that our newborn days were past us while our friends' were beginning again.
"What ..." roared each member of my family in unison, though my husband finished the sentence, "ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
I stammered. His disbelieving voice had instantly cast doubt on all my thoughts for the past 24 hours.
"I thought you told me last night that she'd made an announcement on Facebook. You said 'The cat was out of the bag'."
"I said that, but I was being literal. It was their bag, but it was your cat."