It is a beautiful August day here. The unbearable humidity that blanketed the city over the last few weeks has finally lifted, a breeze running through our house. The cicadas are buzzing and the city is bustling with crowds, the sidewalks packed with tourists. Your dad is in the backyard, tinkering with his bike for a ride later this week. I am sitting at my desk in our little apartment listening to one of my favorite Sonny Rollins albums, Saxophone Colossus (this album is one of the greatest ever). You have been on my mind all day, as you are most days.
The early days of pregnancy have been surreal. I know you are there but have yet to feel you moving around (at least I don't think I have, you may have been dancing to Paul McCartney last week). I have felt so good, so much myself, that some days I've wondered if I am still really pregnant! I feel so lucky that I have had an easy-going time these past few months. Lately I've been dreaming about you. Sometimes you are a girl, sometimes a boy, but always with a mass of dark hair and big brown eyes. In my dreams I'm failing terribly. I need to change your diaper or feed you, but suddenly everything is running in slow motion. You know how that happens in dreams? I am moving in slow motion, trying to calm your crying and make things right. I wake up in a panic and it takes me awhile to calm down and fall back asleep. I'm assuming dreams like these are pretty normal for a first time mama, anxiously anticipating your arrival and wanting to be good for you.
Your dad's feet have not touched the ground since we first learned of you. Truly. Excitement can't begin to describe how he has been feeling. Two weeks ago he took the bar exam, capping off three busy years of law school. You should feel very lucky that all of this occurred before your arrival, especially during the past two months. He wasn't much fun to be around while he was studying. He was very stressed all the time and studying around the clock. I felt helpless to relieve the weight and stress he was feeling and mostly tried to stay out of his hair and make sure he was eating three meals a day. Since completing the exam, your old, fun, easy-going dad, the one I know you will love and hold close, is back.
These last two weeks have been some of the best in our years together. Law school and the bar exam are behind us and you are on your way! What more could we ask for? We've been filling our evenings with long walks, cooking dinner together, reading, and mostly talking about you. Last night we discussed baby names at length, trying different names on for size. We are pretty certain of what we will name you if you are girl. We are still discussing options if you are boy. Funny to think of you reading this someday, your name as much a part of you as your eyes and nose, and yet here we are in the month of August, thinking about what you will be called.
Your dad has been on a cleaning spree of our house, going through rooms and weeding out items he feels are no longer necessary. I tease him and tell him it's too early to be nesting, but honestly it's been such a wonderful help to have him pitching in around the house. He's also been taking care of the meal planning, pouring through cookbooks and looking for recipes that will be perfect for you. Our favorite so far has been a baked egg florentine he made for breakfast last week. On Sunday we went for a walk in the neighborhood and ended up in an old ice cream parlor sharing a gigantic banana split. It was the treat of all treats, more sugar than I've consumed all pregnancy, but man was it great. As we dug into the huge clam shell of ice cream (yep, this place serves ice cream in these huge ceramic clam shells), we talked about how protective we already feel for you. As soon as we found out you were on the way, something inside both of us changed. Or maybe the animal instincts we were born with suddenly perked up. Immediately our attention turned to you, our focus shifted to keeping you safe, making sure you are growing healthy and strong, getting everything you need. My guess is that you didn't need the banana split, but hopefully you enjoyed it as much as I did.
On a rainy Saturday, a few weeks ago, we headed to the record store to stock up on some new albums. Usually the mission involves finding a couple classics and maybe a few rarities. This trip? Our mission was stocking up for you. Criteria? What would Baby D like, and more importantly, what would Baby D like to dance to when it is Saturday morning and there are pancakes to flip and twirls to spin around the kitchen. We arrived home with an armful of recordings; Stevie Wonder, early Aretha Franklin, bluegrass, jazz, an audio recording of Walt Disney's Peter Pan, Abbey Road, and cowboy songs for kids from 1955. I suspect you will develop an eclectic taste like your Dad and I.
I am treasuring and savoring these moments of pregnancy. As anxious as I am to see your face and to touch your hands, I don't want to wish this time away. I want to remember it and savor it, enjoy it with your dad, and embrace what a miracle it is to experience this.
For all of those moments when I am wondering and hoping that you are still in there doing fine, this morning we heard you loud and clear, your heart beating so strong, so certain, almost like you were shouting, "I'm here! I'm here!" We are so lucky for you and so grateful for these glimpses of you.