I used to think that when a woman in her thirties announces she's going to have a baby, the reaction should include lots of dropped jaws and gasps. I mean, I know I've gained some weight (eight pounds as of last week, but who's counting?), but all my baby books and friends assured me that I'm 'probably the only person who even notices'.
Yesterday I decided to spill the beans and tell my students that I'm pregnant. Here are some of the highlights:
M: 'Dude, we've known for like two months.'
R, while high-fiving T: 'I freakin' called it!'
B: 'You're a petite lady, it's been pretty obvious for awhile.' (automatic A for her)
R, after I mentioned I'd been a bit emotional lately: 'Yeah. We noticed.'
D: 'I wrote May 4th on the pencil sharpener. That's the day I figured it out.' (he wasn't kidding)
P: 'I thought it was weird that suddenly you were getting fat in the stomach.' (we'll be talking later)
P, later: 'We didn't think you were the type of person to let yourself go.' (let myself go?!)
D, S, N: 'Will you name the baby after me? What if I do extra credit?'
J: 'Can we have a suggestion box for baby names?' (um, brilliant idea....)
J: 'You should name the baby Chris, after Chris McCandless in Into the Wild.' (he really loved that book)
P: 'You are going to be the best Mom.' (automatic A, letter of recommendation for college, and $100 graduation bonus for her)
It's easy to get down on teaching, particularly at this time of year when the kids get the end of May crazies, but yesterday made me appreciate my job more than I have in awhile. Apparently my announcement wasn't the surprise I had been looking for, but despite that I got six rounds of screams and applause and hugs of congratulations. In what other profession does a woman in her thirties get that kind of love? It almost makes me think I'm going to miss those little buggers when they go off to college next year.