|Making friends in Frenchtown, NJ.|
Physically (and sort of mentally), pregnancy throws off echoes of this experience towards the end. I can't move as well as I used to. I don't want to go out for drinks or start a new novel or bake anything. Lately I've kind of been ok with trying to get sleep for as long as I can, showing up at work, and eating little bits of food along the way.
So here's where it gets interesting. Pregnancy, which ends in labor, is not just a birth for the baby... but it also is a REBIRTH for the mother. I'll get my mobility back. I'll be able to plan things farther than 24 hours out. At some point I'll ease back into a running plan, I'll buy more than a couple bananas at a time, I'll start dreaming of travel again. Pregnancy is leading me to a moment of stillness... but once labor is over, it all comes whooshing back. LIFE! Life will come back.
Feeling adventurous, we rented a car on Sunday and drove to Frenchtown, New Jersey. This is where Elizabeth Gilbert lives and I'd wanted to check out the store she owns with her husband. So we're driving down I-78 with the new Mumford & Sons album playing and I'm feeling like myself. TRAVEL. Ground beneath us. Exploring and adventure. Leaving a 5-block radius. Thrilling.
The M&S album is beautiful, the kind of beauty that results in me thinking exaggerated thoughts about the English language. Like, how stunning it is. How the perfect words in the perfect order are exquisite. How the phrase "fade away" in the song "Reminder" suddenly seems like the most perfect syllables to name a daughter. Fadeaway. Fadeaway Dary.
Future daughters, you are warned. Your mother gets irrational about the English language in her 9th month.
Future son, I hope you like the name Autumn Leaf.
It occurs to me that the time you get the most generous, unfiltered reception is at your birth. You don't even know who you are yet! Arguably, you are not even yourself yet.
You're potential incarnate.
What if we greeted new people in our lives like this? What if we met middle-aged colleagues for the first time and gave them a hundred percent benefit of the doubt, generously assuming that they were there for the right reasons and not trying to screw you over or manipulate you or make you jealous? It feels impossible. But it also feels impossibly cruel to start off a baby's life with a limitless landscape of possibility and to reduce that to a square inch later on.
I'm not talking about people with track records. I'm not talking about people who disappointed you time and time again. I'm talking about strangers. People you just met. Those you don't know a thing about. What if you arrived, symbolic birthday cake in hand, when you shook theirs for the first time?
It might make meeting new people less intimidating.
Let's get this show on the road, kid. We're not ready but we never will be (or so we hear) and I'm ready to move from the season finale to the season premiere.
I'm ready for some rebirth.