[A quick disclaimer: This stunning ultrasound? It's neither Toddler nor Baby. I'm not that crazy.] I am clutching my BlackBerry extra tight these days. Why? A couple of my very best friends are about to go into labor. One with her first baby and one with her second. And just as I craved the odd egg sandwich or glazed donut or Tootsie Pop during my latest pregnancy, I find myself salivating for details. The more, the better. And maybe it is a bit odd, but I want to know numbers, about dilation and effacement and softening. I like to hear about contractions -- the Braxton Hicks and the big-time. I like to hear about what's in the hospital bag. Maybe this isn't so weird? I'm a writer after all. I love details. The more obscure, the better. I love to see the poetry in the everyday.
You know what is a bit weird? That I am envious. Of the profound fever of anticipation. Of the glorious mystery. Of hearing that first primal cry. Of seeing what the creature looks like for the very first time. Of changing that first tiny diaper. Of swinging that car seat over the threshold for the first time and saying, "welcome home, baby."
And six months out from all of this, I wouldn't go back. So maybe envy is not the right word. I'm happy to be right where I am. Baby is sitting and babbling and as of today eating (okay, spitting) oatmeal. Toddler is a sassy spitfire, in love with her sparkly sunglasses and a stone lion on our sidewalk named Steinway. It doesn't get better than this.
But I guess I am excited for my friends (and sister) and frankly every pregnant woman I see waddling by my Starbucks window. Because for each of them, in a matter of minutes or hours or days or months, life's best adventure will begin. Or begin again. And when I allow myself to dream big (and shouldn't we all?), sure, I imagine published novels and book signings and good reviews and maybe a motion picture. But if I squint hard and envision the most beautiful future, I see something more. I see bellies and births and babies.
But now, entrenched in this poetic, borderline pretentious, present moment, I will make do with the beckoning buzz of my BlackBerry and the blissfully good news it brings me.