About eleven years ago, my friend Mike happened to drive by as I was beginning my long walk home from the bus stop after high school. He pulled over and offered me a ride in his (spiffy) white 92 Honda Accord. I accepted, as I would just about every day for the rest of my senior year. By the end of the summer, we were dating. By the end of college, we were engaged and I had inherited the 92 Accord for myself. In 2007 we were married. Now, in just a few weeks, we’ll be meeting our first son. The Accord still sits in our driveway staining the pavement with a chronic oil leak, but our baby’s car seat will be going in Mike’s 2006 Civic, which carried us home from our wedding and will be taking us to the hospital when the time comes.
Seems like a simple story, an obvious progression from acquaintances to friends to partners to co-parents. But the past eleven years have been quite an adventure. We’ve lost loved ones—so many that looking at wedding photos can be bittersweet. We’ve traveled across America together, visited other countries together, and packed suitcases before deciding (together) that we’d rather stay at home.
And now I’m going to have a baby.
And we’re off on another adventure, and it’s definitely together, but it was just me who was throwing up in a trash can at school. It’s definitely me with the sore hip flexors and the malfunctioning taste buds and the clothes that just don’t fit quite right any more. And it was me who woke Mike up on morning in October saying “I think I’m pregnant.” Who first felt our son move inside my body. Who gets the constant reminder that I’m carrying someone very precious because it’s my belly that’s shaking like a bowl full of jelly. Who wakes up in the middle of the night, sometimes in pain and sometimes in wonder. It’s thrilling and it’s exhausting and I wish that I could share it more with Mike because I’m sure not used to doing crazy things like this, especially not on my own.
At our baby shower last month, I sang a song that I love. My roomie and I had practiced it a few days before, and it hadn’t even occurred to me that I might not be able to make it through without crying. It’s never happened before—not at weddings, funerals, birthday parties. Never, no matter how emotional I am before and after.
But when I got up to sing “Danny’s Song,” I couldn’t even get through the first couple of lines: “People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one. And we’ve just begun—think I’m gonna have a son.”
I guess I was just struck by how true the words are. I just can’t wait to share this journey with my best friend, my co-pilot, and the partner in all of my adventures. I am so lucky to have had him with me these past eight months, and I’m so lucky to be starting this next stage with him. It’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever done before—and it’s going to be pretty awesome, because we’ll be doing it together.