Drawn by the chatter of voices big and small, I went to my bedroom window yesterday afternoon and peered out onto the houses behind us to see what was going on (because no matter how hard I try, I simply can't avoid being nosy. I've decided it's a trait that's been genetically encoded and, hence, totally not my fault).
The chatter was simply neighbours with company out in their backyard.
I watch for a few seconds as two moms tended to their little ones. When the woman who lives in the house stood up, I saw a belly in a bright red sweater sticking out from her black jacket like a shiny, ripe apple.
I blinked. A belly? A noticeable belly when her daughter just turned one a few weeks ago?
But there it was.
As if the gods new I needed confirmation, I then watched her place her hands on either side of her tummy, gently rubbing it in small, tender circles, cradling the life inside.
"Yes," she replied to the question I didn't hear but instantly knew from the response she gave, "I guess it starts earlier and earlier."
Because this is baby number three. Their first, a little boy, shares the same birthday our first child was supposed to have. Had it lived, it would have also shared my Father's birthday.
Their second child, a little girl, was born last April.
And now number three is already on the way.
I stared and stared. I'm awed by people for whom breeding is like breathing. The whole row of houses behind us is filled with people for whom, it appears to me anyway, having babies is just routine.
Complication-less life after new life.
I can't even imagine what that would be like anymore. Pregnancy resulting in death is my only personal experience with the process. It's practically unfathomable to me that a live child is ever the result of a ripe apple-like belly.
And yet they are. By the millions. Every day.
And I'm still left in awe with my nose pressed to the glass taking it all in.