How strange it is to be perched between before and after--before, as in before that first "I think it's positive" whisper, and after, as in after that first newborn wail. In a way, she's here already of course; I feel her constantly, and I think about her even more than that, if such a measure of time even exists. (My guess is that any parent would say that "more than constantly" is an all too familiar measure of time.) But really, I'm still between before and after--before parenthood and after. Everything changes, they say. But it's a circle, too--life. How can both of those things be true at the same time?
And maybe this space between before and after is a little like New Year's Eve with its rounding up of the prior year's best this and that and its laying out of the new year's hope-to this and that. Except this rounding up spans 34 years--a chunk of time and experience that cannot possibly be rounded up precisely--and the laying out of hope-to's pretty much comes down to one thing for us: we hope to do a good job with this opportunity we're given. And as opposed to New Year's Eve's single night of rounding up of before and laying out of after, this space between before and after lasts a bit longer . . . 39 weeks and 2 days . . . so far.
In these 39 weeks and 2 days, I haven't taken very many photos, which is unusual for me, and I haven't written very many words, which also is unusual. I knew I wouldn't be a week-by-week bump documenter, especially when I spent so many of those weeks feeling so ill, but I sort of wish I had been a little bit better about taking pictures, because it's difficult to remember exactly how I went from this to this.
Maybe the Christmas M&M jar (one of my favorite family traditions) had something to do with it? But that's just a guess.
The M&M jar is a reminder, too, that even though pregnancy--the space between before and after--has not been what I would call a cakewalk, there certainly have been some sweet parts.
**M&M jar how-to: Buy one bag of every kind of red and green M&M's you can find and mix them all in a large glass jar. (Easy!) This year's jar included milk chocolate, dark chocolate, almond, peanut, peanut butter, and pretzel. It was a merry (and delicious) Christmas indeed. Hope yours was too.