I always wanted one of those fancy pregnancy photo sessions. You know the ones – momma looks lovingly down at her belly, warmly flanked by the one-hand-above-one-hand-below-look-at-ma-belly pose as clouds float overhead. Those pictures are so beautiful – extraordinary even. They capture the beauty of a swelling belly, a glowing mother, a proud papa…
By the time I’d convinced myself to document my body with an Estee Lauder session, it was too late. I was already in money-saving mode, fearful that we’d for sure be bankrupt as soon as this baby and all of its required shit came into our lives. I just couldn’t justify dropping the cash. In addition, my belly surpassed that perfect, corpulent orb stage and had plopped into gelatinous-growth-mommy-I’m-scared-of-that-lady’s-tummy stage. It just wouldn’t have worked.
Here’s my crowning glory.
No loving caress. No floating clouds. Glowing? This is the anti-glow.
I’ve never given much thought to this picture before, but it’s the closest thing I have to my dream pregnancy photo shoot, and as I look at it now, something strikes me about it.
It’s real. It’s honest. It’s ordinary.
We were goofing around when this picture was snapped (or clicked, as it were) and I probably said something like, “Gawd, don’t show this to anybody!” I was likely getting uncomfortable in my stretching skin at this point. Our dingy little “office” in our first home together, which we’ve since moved on from, sets the stage for this small moment that happened once to two people about to have their first baby.
It dawned on me that this photo isn’t ordinary. It’s not exactly extraordinary. It’s extraordinary…in its ordinariness.
Looking at it sets off a chain reaction in my brain until I’m remembering the Wilco concert we went to – the one where we bought that hideous Wilco scarf you see hanging in the background (the blue and yellow one with the tassels…that my husband insisted we buy. Yeah. That one). My big hot-pink belly merely provides the foreground image in a scene whose vantage point leads me to a past where two people fell in love, married, bought a house, got a dog, bought a cheap bookshelf, draped an ugly scarf over it, had a baby, and everything in between.
This was my perky moment. I have pictures just as extraordinary-in-their-ordinariness that feature the aforementioned gelatinous add-on, but let’s just focus on my fabulous preggo photo shoot, m’kay?
When I realized the “extraordinarily ordinary” phenomenon I had discovered, I looked back through old photos for other examples of ordinary-moments-turned-extraordinary. I found these.
Ordinary really isn’t so bad. It’s the stuff of life. Extraordinary.
*This blog post was inspired by a writing prompt provided by Kat Bouska on her site, “Mama’s Losin’ It.” Check her out – funny stuff.