Just one of those days when I was working till late at night, on a presentation, and I get this messenger alert from a very close friend. Ofcourse, it is a welcomed distraction.
We are generally chit-chatting and not even two minutes into the chat, my friend announces –“I AM PREGNANT.”
For a split second, I did not think I really noticed what she wrote but then it started to surface. These words, written in BOLD script stood there, just there and I felt my hands too cold, my fingers felt numb to type anything – I was just frozen.
My friend waited anxiously on the other side of the chat, probably even twiddling her thumbs, waiting for an equal, if not more, chirpy response like – I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND or atleast a simple ‘Congratulations!’ but all she got was ‘REALLY???? HOW COME?
If she didn’t know me better, she would have accused me for being a bitch or so cold but she knows me well and she knew I’d take a few more minutes to collect my thoughts and will turn around.
As expected, she did wait for me and I did wish her with all my heart but I know there was something different in here. (I wasn’t sure how excited I was actually, but I still put on a brave face saying I was excited but I knew I was uneasy.)
Her excitement was obvious and beautiful — but I was shocked by the way I felt. Beneath my happiness I knew I was feeling weird. It’s just made me realise that its people like me who should be ashamed of the ugly way we respond to what is such a happy news.
This is not the first time someone’s made a baby announcement; I have my cousins, my sisters, other friends who have had babies or are about to have them. But why did I feel so awkward, so weird this time? I knew I was happy but why the nervousness?
I thought it over and over again – was it because I wondered she was my friend since decades and we’ve been inseparable? If that was the case, when she got married, I should have hated her husband for having to share my time with him but on the contrary, I like him.
The devil’s advocate in me jeered saying it could be because am jealous. Jealous really, was I jealous? How can I be? I will be the baby’s godmother and then am jealous of my own god child? I was devastated – devastated of my behaviour, my reaction. Being jealous of an unborn child is preposterous!! No, not for heaven’s sake.
I kept on introspecting, kicking myself for feeling so. It dawned on me I wasn’t envious of the child, I am just worried. The more I thought, the more scared I got, what will happen if the child turns to me for help. Will I be able to guide him/her right? Will I be able to love him? What if I fail to be there when he needs me – my own anxieties got the worse of me.
It is my closest friend who will be having a baby now and that would mean that I will have to be a grown up too. Until now, the two of us have hardly done anything sensible (she got married but that’s not relevant) – we’ve lamented on our past, cried on happy memories, laughed till our sides ached, got drunk or attempted to get drunk, driven like maniacs – just about everything. We are still our daddy’s girls and now to think of being responsible for a little one – is jittery. Less for me but more for my friend (thank god the husband is sensible).
The other thing I realised which bothered me was that my relationship with my old and dear friend is about to change. This is what was making me scared. From now on, she will be a mother first before anything else. I accept I was petrified losing my friend, petrified she will change. My apprehensions that for the next four-five years, she will not have any time for me or my accomplishments or problems will not be worth her attention or she will now find new friends who are either parents already or about to be one.
But I know am not alone. I know she has similar anxieties. She’s frightened of losing her friends, losing her husband’s attention or even losing herself but she is much calmer and more accepting. (I just appear calm but underneath the calm exterior, am writhing.)
When I talk to her, her radiant self shows through – she is still the same – sweet and mischievous – the same girl I met on my first day of college and then I finally find assurance – an assurance within me that nothing has or will change between my friend and me – we will always grow till we grow old and die. We will now enter another phase in our journey as friends, raising the bar higher – she as a mother and me as her child’s aunt. My life will always be important to her just her priorities will change. (Dammit, they better change). This new tiny thing will be her universe and we all will adore it like nothing or no one else.
For me, the-yet-to-be-born already holds a special place in my heart even when it isn’t here. I hope and pray that as the Godmother, I can guide him, cherish him and love him because I know he will make our world prettier by just being there. You are still 200 plus days away from us but we know that the stork is on its way and we are waiting for our bundle of love, hope, blessings!!!