looking back, seeing signs

A picture of me from the very start of my pregnancy, guzzling water, a pregnancy book beside me.
A picture of me from the very start of my pregnancy, guzzling water, a pregnancy book beside me.

I was just reminiscing on social media that this day two years ago was the day I woke up and confirmed what I suspected: I was pregnant. I had told a friend, Savannah, that I thought this might be the case, what with the sudden onset of fatigue, extreme thirst, and sore boobs, and she called me while I was still staring at the plus sign, which appeared IMMEDIATELY, completely freaking out. This is how she came to know I was pregnant before my husband did, because he was out on a 30 mile bike ride. I also believe I hung up on her abruptly when he walked in the door, and I remember saying “We’re having a baby!” and insisting he go look at the test on the bathroom counter. He took a picture of it, but don’t worry, I’m not the sort who posts pictures of things I’ve peed on online. That picture exists in one place now: a book I made for the girls about my pregnancy.

I remember the anticipation and excitement of that day. I sort of laugh at myself then, blissfully unaware that in a few short weeks, the TWINS?! bomb would be dropped on me, and all my visions of myself with my ONE BABY would go out the window.

I’d like to think I was picturing mornings like the one I just had two years later: waking up with the girls, bringing them into our bed for snuggles and bottles, moving to the den for playtime, getting Claire to her preschool where she went smiling into her teacher’s arms, returning home to Etta eating cereal with a spoon like a grown person while wearing red monkey pjs and watching Dumbo with her daddy.

I fired  up my laptop to write a blog post about the crazy ride I’ve had since then, and was slapped in the face with a great big SIGN.

Google is my homepage, as it is for zillions of people. And today’s Google doodle is a beauty– you should check it out. In honor of composer Claude Debussy’s birthday, his piece, “Clair de Lune” plays over a short animated film.

I had no idea it was Debussy’s birthday, but of course it is. Of course the day I found out I was pregnant is the birthday of the man who wrote the song that gave my Claire her name. You see, when we thought we were having ONE BABY, we were going to name her Etta Laine, after my grandmother LeaEtta and Jon’s grandmother Elaine. When we found out we would be having TWO girls, we decided to give each one a grandmother’s name, so they’d be Etta and Elaine. But I didn’t want them to have the same initials, so it was decided that we’d use Elaine as a middle for “baby B”. While we tried to think of a good first name, Jon sat at the piano, playing Debussy, a favorite of ours. He was playing “Clair de Lune” when he stopped and said, “What about Claire?” I loved it, thought Claire Elaine sounded lovely, and it was settled. (Etta’s middle name is Jane, for Jane Austen, a favorite author of mine who shares my birthday.)

And now, two years later, I find out the man who gave us the song that gave her her name was born on the day that my journey as a mother began.

It’s just perfect. It’s just a sign. It’s a little window into the story we’re living, often unawares.

These days, I hear “Clair de Lune” almost every night– it’s on the girls’ lullaby playlist.

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