Every now and then there are moments so sweet no words can rightly capture the experience.

But I’ll try to find them.

On Monday, my pregnant friend Judy and I sat on a park bench, two women just hanging out.  We’d planned to meet, in search of food, our usual mission. Hoping to score one of the special burgers created in celebration of the Shake Shack’s 10 year anniversary, we had been disappointed to hear earlier in the day that they were going to sell out long before we would arrive.

After declaring she really just wanted dessert for dinner—even with pregnancy food restrictions, she’s still a fun eating partner—we caught up over Nutella and hazelnut gelato.  (Is there any other perfect dinner?)  Sitting in Madison Square Park, we squealed over squirrels that got a little too close, laughed about silly things, and gossiped about the people we know.

Then, she took my hand in hers and draped it over her belly, swollen with the growing baby.

I’m going to keep your hand here until you feel the baby kick, she said.

I’d never held onto a pregnant belly before.  It’s so personal, so intimate an act. Though we’ve known each other for 10 years and I easily show up for her as my full self—rarer and more challenging than I’d like to admit—this was an unexpected indication of the depth of our friendship.  It was an affirmation that said, You know this life that is growing inside me?  I want you to experience it, too.  

We stayed like that, her hand over mine, for at least 10 minutes.  I felt a fast heartbeat—we didn’t know if that was hers or the baby’s—and a flutter here and tiny movement there.

And then came the kick.  It wasn’t a dramatic force as I’d always imagined, but it filled me with awe.  It startled me.  It made me giddy.  It made me shriek, That was awesome!!  There it was, moving, growing, thriving, this new vibrant being we’ll get to meet in a few months.

And then we went about our evening as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

That is life.

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