Baby, oh, baby
I like to be surprised. That’s why I enjoy rafting and watching “The Love Boat.”
Even after three decades, those romantic plot twists never get old.
Without the unexpected, life can become predictable. That’s never really meshed well with my personality. I prefer being in a state of wonderment, much like a little girl the first time she takes a ride through It’s a Small World at Walt Disney World.
I remember my first ride like it was yesterday.
A propensity to surprise is why I like those viral videos where people propose at half-time of basketball games. Or announce their pregnancies with hit song spoofs from the ‘80s and ‘90s. The latest viral sensation of that genre is a Britney Spears parody. It’s worth checking out, if you can handle Britney songs.
The gender reveal at about 3:05 minutes is pretty much adorable.
Announcing engagements and pregnancies aren’t what they used to be — I know that for certain. There’s quite a bit of foresight and creativity that go into sharing major life moments. Before texting and social media, a bride- or mom-to-be could make a quick phone call to Great Aunt Ida and the whole town would know the wedding or due date.
It’s not so simple anymore.
We are much more visual in this age of digital. We must see to believe. Many women post engagement ring and ultrasound pics on Facebook or Instagram. Keeping that baby-on-board secret for at least three months is tricky as the Run DMC song, especially when caught in the crossfire of a girl’s-night-out selfie.
The figure-revealing selfie stick doesn’t help matters.
Since my fiancé isn’t much for having his photo taken, I tried the simplest route I could to announce our engagement. There was no hi-def video. We didn’t have back-up dancers. I simply changed my relationship status on Facebook to engaged, and the news was out there. We were humbled and thankful for all the well wishes, and felt all types of love from around the country. People were shocked. And happy.
They may have been under the impression I would be single forever.
Luckily, our love story wasn’t as long and drawn-out as Big’s and Carrie Bradshaw’s on “Sex and the City” — I’ve been compared to her fictional character. I may be a columnist, but my dating life in Glenwood Springs wasn’t as exotic as one may find in New York City.
I joke on stage it was a lot less sex and much smaller of a city.
In the last week, I’ve also surprised folks on Facebook with news that no one would have expected in 2015 — especially me. With a photo of me holding our new puppy, Sweetie, and wearing a grey-and-lilac striped dress, I asked, “Do these horizontal stripes make me look pregnant?”
The answer is yes.
I’m going to be a mom this fall. A year ago, I would have never guessed my life would take such an exciting and wonderful turn. I’m still in a state of awe. I’m just as surprised as anyone that I’m just a summer away from giving birth. I try not to think about the labor so much as the unconditional love I already feel for this little boy I have yet to meet.
I hear it’s a feeling like no other.
I waited a bit to tell the world because I wanted to make sure all was well with the health of the baby. We are both doing great. Watching my belly grow and feeling the baby move have brought me to tears. Sometimes I feel like I’m that little girl on the It’s a Small World ride again when the wonder of it practically takes my breath away. He isn’t the first boy to make me feel this way.
His dad is really good at it, too.
He’s been there to help calm my nerves and keep me grounded. I’m notorious for over-thinking life, especially when it surprises me. But I like it that way. I think about the future probably more than I should. Whether I’ll know what to do or how to react to all the surprises motherhood presents. My mom friends insist I will do great, and I have no other option than to believe them. Luckily I have plenty of people to help guide me along the way, including my own mother.
Who I consider the best.
I, after all, surprised her many years ago when I arrived a few weeks early, nearly in the hospital elevator. I imagine my initial sense of wonderment as I entered the world and she held me for the first time.
I will soon be on the other end of such surprise, and I can’t wait.
April E. Clark sees a family vacation to Disney World in her future. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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