Kickin' It

Woah. To think I actually declined to go to the Breakdancing Competition with Tasha. I mean, I actually said, no, I'm too tired. Thank god she was contagiously enthusiastic and Peaches questioned me up and down about not going. It was jaw-dropping. We couldn't take our eyes off the dancers. You try looking away from someone spinning on their head. OK, and then imagine you DO tear your eyes away, and they land on someone else spinning on their head. And then you look in yet a third direction, and a six-year-old, using only his shoulders for momentum, is keeping perfect time with the music from the floor, where he is dancing on his back, then head, then knee, whatever, faster than you can blink.

I love Fort Point Channel, a desolate wasteland of urban Boston that reminds me dearly of my hometown. We drove down abandoned streets until we arrived at the beautiful Artists for Humanity space, a renovated warehouse, echoing with the beats of spinning DJs, vinyl synched and ready to roll. "Can they really be breakdancing 8 hours a day for two days in a row?" we giggled, as we drove there. Um, yep. They were tireless. And tirelessly positive, too. The energy in that place, and the ethos, was very special. Possibly the most racially diverse crowd I've mingled with in some time---I mean, incredibly diverse in every sense of the word---and decked out in playful, eccentric fashion, these very fit people clearly prioritized individuality, creativity, attitude and intelligence. And I don't mean to gush, gush, gush, but they also laughed at themselves, a lot. And they hugged each other, a lot. And they spoke up for women dancers. Everyone was encouraged. Everyone was encouraged. A baby in a big old diaper, who could barely walk, breakdanced adorably in front of Tasha and I, nearly killing both of us with adorableness. "How do you learn to do this?" we kept asking each other. The baby was just, well, doing it. Diapered bum up in the air...diapered bum down on the ground. To the beat.

However you learn to be so strong, to embrace musicality, to keep quick wit, encourage others, and to show off attitude while not taking yourself so seriously, that's definitely what I want to teach my kid. Artists for Humanity seemed to have room for team players and for individualists, both; they seemed to have room for all kinds of races and all genders and expressions. It was pretty incredible. Great, great music, too.

Now, if only I could breakdance!


12 Weeks

Baby in the womb, looking relaxed, back downwards, snuggles down, hand comes up, little kick, heart beats. Agile & free in all that fluid, not weighed down like babies sometimes are. Turns to get comfy on one side and we ooh and aaah. We can see through our three-inch child. "Uh, I think I just saw the two hemispheres of the baby's brain," I say, pointing, and the tech murmurs in agreement. I make a mental note to take fish oil for neurological development. It all seems so real now.

And yet, for all the awed wondering about this person, this new family member just hanging out and waiting, blissfully unaware of being watched, me silently wondering if this is a familiar being I've known in some other lifetime, or someone totally new to me, and the whole soberness of what's happening, this is actually the most fun I can possibly imagine having. It is insane and romantic. I keep looking at Peaches and laughing out loud. We are completely amazed and holding hands and unwilling to look anywhere other than at the screen or, briefly, at each other. On the bike ride to the hospital I'd gotten somber thinking about about how long after the birth it would be before I could bike with him again, something I love to do. He's like a straight arrow on his bike, so focused, directed, narrow and fast, yellow bag fitted perfectly to his lean body. Something as simple as biking around the neighborhood with my great love will become so hard, it seems.

But we'll get babysitters. We'll bike to the movies. And as soon as I saw that person on the screen, somehow inside me, I knew I had been right the first time: it is time to bring the baby on board. It's someone who's been waiting to join our family and it's really happening. Not too long from now, we'll have someone who bikes with us.

Making photocopies of the screen images later, I see a face very clearly in the high-contrast. It's beautiful.