I'm a huge fan of live music. Funny enough, this is not a fact about me that alters in any way when I am ripe with unborn child. And so last Thursday night Ifound myself, large and waddling and braceleted up for alcohol that I couldn't drink, at a venue to hear Gabe Dixon. (Whom Ihighly recommend for a stellar show experience, BTW.)
There's a certain kind of moment that comes around every so often in middle to late pregnancy (i.e. there's no hiding the bump portion of gestation). Times when you look around at where you are or what you're doing and feel self conscious about the fact that you are in the family way. It's not an embarrassing feeling or a feeling of shame, mind you, it's just an “Oh. Right.”kind of sensation that brings your current state to the forefront of your mind while other, non-childbearing people mill around you, doing normal non-childbearing things. Which you are also doing, sure, just more slowly and in stretchy paneled pants. Kind of like a llama at a roller skating rink. Or … something.
Luckily for my already-prone-to-swelling ankles, the joint had plenty of chairs for taking a load off. We got there early, before the opening act had even taken the stage, and so Ihad ample time to sit and stare and observe the scene. Lots of college-aged and recently graduated kids (I'm officially old enough to call them kids), a few couples in my age range, and some even older. There was pool playing and beer in plastic cups and canoodling on leather couches in dark corners and the smell of smoke in the air. And then there was me, lounging in my wooden chair with legs splayed apart and belly protruding in my maternity tee and unbuttoned-in-the-front-out-of-necessity jacket.
Early on in the night Ibellied up to the bar (womp) and ordered a water on the rocks, which the bartender delivered with a smile and an “On the house,” just as the music started.
It only took a few bars before I was reminded exactly why Ilove live music, and why going to concerts is something Iwant to make sure to prioritize no matter what my gestational state or number of children at home. The sound of amped guitars, keyboards and lyrics that speak directly to your life can transport you from where you sit and hold you captive in a magical place, even if only for two hours or so. Iliken it to swimming in a pool at 9 months pregnant. Under the water you are weightless, soundless, graceful. With music pulsing through your bones you are someone else. Young. Heartbroken. Lithe. Poetic. And it changes with each beat that passes through your eardrums and into your insides.
Then just as the music had reached a pause between songs someone dropped their beer right in front of me, shattering the bottle and spilling the contents all over the floor. I leapt up immediately without thinking to sop up the mess with a pile of napkins before it could snake its way any farther through the feet of the crowd. As I(laboriously) stood back up from kneeling beside the puddle of pilsner, I looked at the two young girls staring at me and my handful of saturated paper and said, “Iguess my ninja mom moves are hard to suppress.” Boom. Back to life, back to reality.
But there's the truth of it. Even during pregnancy we're a million things, all at once. We're moms and daughters and sisters and lovers and kids at heart and responsible tax-paying citizens who cut the crusts off of peanut butter sandwiches. We clean up spills and we get lost in a love song, and sometimes it's all in the same 30 second span. The physical state of pregnancy can make me forget about the other parts that make me who I am. But I'm grateful to the music on that night for reminding me.
Iwent back up to the bar, asking for another water. “But after this one, cut me off,”I joked. The bartender laughed, handing over a bottled water this time, again for no charge, accompanied by a wink. “Watch it buddy,” Isaid sternly.”I'm taken.” Then Iwinked back.
I waddled back to my seat and settled myself back in, ready to be taken away by the next set.