Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Gifts of November

Here in Maine, the glorious month of October is so over it's not funny. Going out for the newspaper this morning, I was stunned at the condition of the world. It was freezing -- actually below freezing at 27 degrees -- and many of the once-lush surrounding trees displayed embarrassingly bare limbs. A thin layer of icy frost covered my car parked in the driveway and an empty grey sky foretold the coming snows of winter, not to mention the coming horrors of Election Day. Welcome to November.

For me, the only thing this month has going for it is the fact that my wonderful son was born during its first week, many years ago. I was reminded of that happy occasion a few days ago when I attended a baby shower for a young friend who is due to give birth later this month. I hadn't attended one of these events for decades and expected to sit around eating bonbons and watching her open baby gifts, but to my delight there was far better entertainment: An artist had been hired to paint a lovely henna tattoo on the guest of honor, still busy growing inside his mother's expanded belly.

This was great fun for all of us, especially since the baby was quite active during the proceedings, obviously aware that something very unusual was going on right outside. We saw him tossing and turning inside his tight quarters, eager to get out and join the festivities.

That tattoo will likely fade before his arrival but since the event was well-documented, Emily's son will eventually get to see what all that fuss was about. And for another young mother, an otherwise bleak month will bring a lasting gift.

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