One year ago today, I was very pregnant. Indeed, I was precisely 40 weeks pregnant; my baby was due. In the morning while I was walking Ada by the beach, a friendly gender-ambivalent neighborhood dog-walker and drag queen asked me when I was due, and when I told her, "today!" s/he said, "aaaa-aaah, walk it on down, honey, walk it on DOWN." In the afternoon I went to Starbucks, again with Ada. This was before the new neighborhood locally-owned coffee shop opened, so I went to Starbucks a lot. I sat, in the late summer wind, and finished knitting a pair of booties for Sloane, Elliot's one-week-older friend. Our wise woman neighbor Tawanna happened to pass by and asked me how I was doing. She told me that the elders in her family would say to "wear it like a loose garmet; wear it easy." When I stood up with my extra large ice tea, I felt the only sensation which, in retrospect, I realize might have clued me in to how quickly my baby was coming: a low swing in my abdomen, and a tired sense of doneness. Elliot was born at 6:39 the next morning.
I was thinking about all this today, as Ada and I took Elliot to Starbucks again. He jabbered away in the baby bjorn, which he has almost outgrown. When we got there, we all three sat on the ground in the outside seating area and shared little bites of a rice crispy treat (nothing makes me pleaseder than sharing a snack with my sweet creatures). I helped Elliot do some little practice paddings around; he is making real progress on the walking front. A very dapper and euro looking man (he was so dapper it almost didn't matter that he had no front teeth) smiled smiled at us! He said, "you 'av a bee-you-ti-ful familleee!" He was feeding little bits of coffee cake to a bird. I'm not even kidding. Elliot flirted particularly with a slouchy man of the African-national-taxi-driver variety, who also smiled smiled and waved and laughed. They beamed upwards at each other from non-English-speaking eyes.
And then it started to rain, all of a sudden. I scrambled Elliot back into the bjorn and trotted towards home. Elliot waved his hands over his head and then started to laugh. Just like he does in the bathtub when he accidently swings his head under the faucet and gets a spray of water in the face. He is in the bathtub now, jabbering and laughing, and no where in the world is there anyone I would rather take to Starbucks in the rain than him.