will this be the last?

Each day I rise with the same question in mind: will today be The Day?

I go about the day’s routine: work, play, eat, sleep. All the while wondering: will the water break? will the contractions start? When and how and where?

There will be a Last Moment before it all begins, the rush of realization, the final flurry of work and energy and pain and emotion that will bring this child into the world. But I will not know until the moment has passed that it was the last of Before and the first of Next.

And I wonder what the baby on the other side thinks, knows, dreams about what is to come. Blissful innocence? Or perhaps some secret hint that great change lies just ahead?

The last night before you were born, you were
almost complete, your mind busy,
without language, but full of motion
which would never be remembered or know itself.

from “January, Daughter” by Sharon Olds

Some days that transform our lives blindside us completely. Others we await with great anticipation, eager and watchful and wondering at the window.

Birth days are both.

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