My seventeen year old son looked at me with a conspiratorial glint in his eye and he smiled as we made our way though the crowd at Milwaukee's Irish Fest to the small tent at the far end of the festival. "You're going to have to tell me if you think she's pregnant!" he said devilishly. "I'm just not sure!"
I had no idea what he was talking about, but the three of us sidled into the tent and found some folding chairs around a table near the band. "Frogwater" was the only choice they gave me when we ate dinner and I asked what band we should go listen to among all the dozens of musical masters that inhabited the festival grounds. My son has lately taken up playing the fiddle-particularly Irish tunes-and appreciates and absorbs all fine things Irish these days like a thirsty sponge. And so when the pair of teenagers assured me that we could skip the big main stages and head for the end of the earth instead, festival-wise, I knew I was in for a treat.
To start with, the band was absolutely amazing, mesmerizing, energizing, fabulous. Fiddle, viola, guitar, bodhran, ukulele, the instruments varied and the music enchanted. But the most amazing thing of all to me was the gravitational center of it all, the fiddler, Susan Nicholson. Not only was she possessed of an absolutely magical talent, and a wonderful stage presence, and the ability to tell a joke…yes, she had "the bump."
She was quite visibly, beautifully, radiantly pregnant. And joshing about it. And full of such pure energy and cat-like grace as she played masterfully, and twirled, and kicked and hopped and jumped, in a body-hugging black top and fuschia print gathered skirt.
When I was pregnant variously with four different kids, I resembled a slow moving barge. Or a house tipsily balancing on waddling legs. Poise and fluidity had nothing to do with the process, and I sprained an ankle or two on more than one occasion simply walking in a straight line or up some stairs. So as I clapped my hands to the rhythm of the tunes and hooted and hollered as one song merged into another, most of my amazement and joy was simply at the fact I was listening to some extraordinary musicians who loved their work.
But some of it was just in pure unadulterated awe at a woman who managed to make being pregnant not only look easy, but somehow made it look like fun!!!!! Kudos and good wishes!!