I will miss…

As my pregnant days wind down, I have been thinking a lot about how amazing this whole process has been. Years back I was horrified at the idea of pregnancy but here I am 9 months in and I have survived. I haven’t just survived actually, I have enjoyed most of it. There have been ups and downs but I think I will miss quite a few things of being pregnant.

I will miss the flutters of your first movements.

I will miss watching your stretches and kicks poke through my tummy as they continue to grow stronger.

I will miss the feeling of excitement and anticipation of your arrival .

I will miss the infinite questions that my caring class ask each and every day about you.

I will miss my students suggestions for your name.

I will miss watching my belly stretch as you grow.

I will miss the younger children in the school pretending to be pregnant like me as they play through the day.

I will miss my dreams about you.

I will miss waiting and wondering what you will be like.

 

Although the only thing better than feeling you grow inside of me is watching you grow in my arms!

 

 

The Thieving Gorilla

I have discovered that pregnancy causes some pretty unexpected changes in your body. Some are easier than others to adjust to than others.

One of my favourite changes has been in the vividness of my dreams. I remember my dreams much more clearly. Often I even get to practice what motherhood will be like in my sleeping state. I think that at the beginning of pregnancy I was feeling the usual anxieties of a new stage in life and those anxieties came through clearly in my dreams. I was always losing the baby in strange places or on wild adventures.

One of my favourite dreams was of a thieving gorilla.

It all started as I was holding my teeny, tiny, little baby in my arms enjoying the forest air at my cottage. The rough stones beneath my feet were leading me down the path to the warm beach beckoning us down to dip our toes in the cool water. I held my little one tight in her blanket, staring into her beautiful eyes. 

Half way down the trail, a hairy dark gorilla leaped from the trees and snatched my baby from my arms. Quickly retreating back up the tall tree rocking my baby in it’s arms.

As the mood of the dream morphed, so did the weather. The thunder pounded above us and the rain started to pour down all around us. Frantically I screamed, rousing my  family and neighbors to come and help retrieve the baby from the Gorilla high above. We tried calm voices, banana bribery and even some unsuccessful prodding with a long stick. Nothing seemed to work.

After a few too many pokes, the Gorilla swung from the canopies of the trees with the baby tucked under its arm. Off it went deep into the forest. We jumped into a truck and gave chase. The rain battered the windshield and the gravel road below. The truck sputtered to a stop and refused to continue our Gorilla chase. I am not sure where we planned on going but we were adamant that if only we could get another truck we could catch that thief and save my baby.

Unfortunately I woke up before I could have her safely in my arms again.

After my heart stopped racing, I began to laugh wondering why I would be dreaming of a Gorilla in Canada stealing a baby from my arms.

As her arrival draws near, I must be feeling more at ease about being a mom because I haven’t lost in her in my dreams in a while.

 

 

Wrinkles

 

You know you have crow’s feet now?”

“No, those are just smiling lines.”

“You never used to have them!”

“I never used to smile as much.”

The  wrinkles on the left corner of my eye are from Vietnam.

From Ha and the kindness of her family,

the class that I taught each day,

the nights out on the town,

the traveling adventures.

The wrinkles on the right corner of my eye are from my travels.

From swinging in the trees,

swimming with the fishes,

kayaking along the coast,

the people I have met along the way.

The wrinkles deep within my forehead are from China.

From the bicycle rides in Shanghai,

the hikes in Hong Kong

the fun I have in my classrooms,

the interesting experiences I encounter.

The wrinkles at the tips of my mouth are from Jeezy.

From the incessant jokes,

the kitchen dance parties,

the hugs and smoochies,

the life we have created together.

Warning: Chipmunks

chipmunk

Sitting on his hind legs with beady eyes, glancing.

Glancing at our picnic table. Gnawing. Sharpening his teeth on a bone resting between his front paws. Shiny claws reflecting in the sun.

Chipmunks: typically herbivores. Not here. These Diamond Lake chipmunks are different. Carnivorous and vicious.

One step away from the table? One mushroom stolen. Turn your back?  Our 12 ounce steak  disappears through the branches. Bushy tail wagging, as he squishes that T-bone down the hole of his burrow. Juice squirting straight to the sky.

Dinner gone. Feeling defeated, we munch on peanuts.

All is quiet.  We crawl into the tent and the fresh mountain air drifts us off to sleep.

As the sun rises, we shiver to the breeze blowing through the poles of our tent.

Our tent!

Nothing left but the poles and two chipmunks. Resting; one on each chest. Thread dangling from their front teeth.

With a wink and a smile, they hop onto the table. Waiting for breakfast to be served.

Campfires

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I love fires.

One small spark

embers expanding to flames

crickle crackling

the kindling twigs

disintegrating into ash

as the flames catch the logs

resting criss crossed

one atop the other

I love the smoke

billowing

from one direction

white rabbit

white rabbit

to the other

moving your chair

around the fire

to catch the heat

radiating from the coals

I love finding the perfect stick

the one with the pointed end

able to move the shrinking the sticks

into the perfect position

searching

scouring

the forest floor

for dry logs

not the 5 minute kind

or the all nighter log

but the hour long

leave on the coal

drink a beer

kind of log

I love as the pile dwindles

conveniently yawns become more consistent

bed time calls your name.

The flames fade

the embers change

from to red

to orange

to black

I hate leaving the fire

but

with the glowing heat

resonating on my clothes

I drift

dreams billowing

through the night

The Top 5 Ways to Avoid giving your seat to the pregnant lady on the train

 

As soon as you spot the sight of a little belly, follow one of these five options to ensure the safe keeping of your seat.

1) Immediately close your eyes as tightly as possible. Listen to the announcements and only open your eyes when your stop is announced, not a stop sooner. Avoid the desire to peek through one eye to see if she is still on the same car. You can always guarantee that her death stare will directed towards you and you will be caught.

2) Suddenly recall that you had the sniffles this morning and you need to immediately log onto WebMD to ensure that your symptom is not related to that Chikungunya disease that you have been hearing about lately. There will be no time to look up from your phone, let alone stand up for the pregnant lady staring you down.

3) Pull out whatever paperwork you have in your bag. Newspaper, magazine, school work,toilet paper, whatever you find will do the trick. Promptly test out what life would be like with very poor eyesight. Bring that reading material it as close to your eyes as possible to ensure that you will not make eye contact with the pregnant lady’s darting eyes.

2) Quickly check the temperature of your 8 year old son with your hand and realise that he might be too cold or maybe too hot. Frantically look through your bag for a wet cloth to wipe his face and neck. Alternatively, struggle to find a sweater to wrap him in. It is imperative that you look worried and that you take as much time as possible rummaging through your bag. This provides an excellent distraction from your eyes meeting the belly of the pregnant woman standing twenty centimetres in front of you.

1) Stare at the tired pregnant lady holding on tightly to the handrail, keeping firm eye contact. This eye contact will explain to her that you have accepted the fact that you are an insensitive human being.

 

Since my pregnant belly has decided to reveal itself to the world, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of people that offer me their seat on the train. Early on in my pregnancy, I didn’t feel like I always needed the seat. Now that the weeks are dwindling down, I really appreciate the break from the balancing act. There are always a few that choose to keep their seats for themselves though.

A writing confession

 

I hate punctuation.

I despise perfectly formulated paragraphs. I can’t stand  lines reaching from one side of the page to the other until the subject changes. Finally a space is allowed just before the next paragraph begins.

I want to break those lines up

and set the words

free.

I find comas ugly, one after the other, reminding me to breath, to slow down.

Listen up dot with a tail. I don’t need you!

I can simply move my words to the next line

give them their

own

space.

Quotations. I don’t mind you embracing my speech.

Just as long as you don’t overstay your welcome.

Here and there

I can handle you.

 Colons and semi colons:

I don’t really know you very well.

When spellcheck suggested that I use you

I always complied.

On paper however

I leave you out.

Exclamation marks and questions marks

I see your purpose

You haven’t  caused me any frustrations over the years.

You make regular appearances in my writing

Some may call you my favourites

Don’t feel too special.

I still hate you too!