It's amazing to me how a pregnant belly can change the atmosphere of a conversation, a room, or even a meeting of two strangers. I'm convinced that it's not so much my friendly demeanor or charisma... it is in fact my fat, round belly. Here's what happened yesterday:
I've needed to get my hair trimmed for the past few weeks. The combination of pregnancy hormones and prenatal vitamins has made my hair and nails grow like mad. If you know me at all, you know that the appearance of my hair is not a huge priority to me. In fact, when I do wear my hair down or even remotely "fixed", my girlfriends say, "What's the special occasion?!" It's now been aptly dubbed my Special Occasion Hair.
So in order to maintain my coveted Special Occasion Hair, I went to my local posh and upscale salon, Great Clips. It was mid-morning and I was the only one there besides two stylists. One was loudly hacking a very attractive chest-cough while sniffing back some lovely sinus... something.... and I quickly breathed a prayer that I'd have the other stylist - a sweet-faced pudgy lady, easily a foot shorter than me. The latter approached the counter and I sighed relief as she pulled up my information.
As we walked to the shampooing sink, she paused and said hesitantly, "You're having a baby aren't you, honey?" I smiled and said, "Yes! It's our first and we're so excited!" From that point on it was as if I had opened some secret social door to a different level of intimacy between strangers. She felt perfectly comfortable to rub my belly, sometimes for a little longer than I would have felt comfortable with... but she was nonetheless an adorable and sweet lady. Of course she asked me ALL about the pregnancy so far and, "did I KNOW how cute I looked?" and, "oooh, just wait till you hold that little angel..." -- all coupled with belly rubs and baby talk coos directed at my protruding abdomen.
The best part, though, came when she was finished trimming my hair and it was time to blow dry. She said, "Now, sweetie, you need to relax while you can, so just close your eyes and I'll tell you when I'm finished." She proceeded to blow dry my hair, inch by inch, ever so slowly. I was probably a good 20-minute job before she turned off the dryer and gave me one of the best neck rubs and scalp massage I've ever had! At Great Clips of all places!
She didn't even charge me for the shampoo, plus I had a coupon for the cut. I definitely left her a hefty tip and told her how precious she had been... I hope she knows how sweet of a gift that was to me.
It's a wonderful thing how babies and new life bring hope and excitement. Yes, responsibility and care, but also such immeasurable joy and pleasure. And James isn't even here yet!