Have you ever seen an obesely large cow disguised in all black decorated with loud red jewelry playing the violin?
If not, you should have been at our church this morning.
As I am in the thick of “that stage” of pregnancy where body normalcy is a thing completely of the past and you hide in large corners hoping that no one will notice how big you have gotten and make critical comments about “other” pregnant women while staring at your swollen stomach no doubt wondering exactly how many Klondike bars a day you have been consuming…
I was a bit horrified to realize that I had to play a special at church this morning.
Me. Alone. Standing in front of the entire church so that everyone could have front row seats to gawk at that fat, puffy pregnant lady who normally hides behind the sweet looking little girl….
And then my eyes went on contact strike, requiring glasses (which really isn’t a favorite) and due to running running running around in the heat…yesterday I noticed that my face was starting to swell up, and my fingers were starting to represent little sausages that put in the right context might mistakenly be put in a bun and covered in ketchup.
Shouldering a bit of a rotten attitude, I donned a black dress (it’s slimming, yes?) and my loudest red jewelry with matching red shoes, hoping for perhaps a distraction from my swollen, bloated, glasses wearing self.
Asking my husband “Do I look fat?”, I carefully studied his face as he without hesitation replied “No, of course not” He had never lied to me before, so it was important that I understand exactly what deception looked like on his face for future reference.
I waddled up to the stage holding my violin, desperately wishing that I had chosen a larger instrument to play that would conceal most of my body, leaving only tiny beady brown eyes encased in my scratched glasses for the ogling crowd. Cello, Tuba…or perhaps a bass drum solo.
I raised my violin to play, seeking to find a spot to rest it under the new fleshly rolls that my neck sprouted within minutes and turned toward the eyes eager to qualify exactly how portly I had become.
My stomach obscured the choir loft, my legs swelled to twice their already swollen size just standing there in my hot red shoes, my sausage fingers struggled to move because of their enormous size, my glasses slipped down my nose due to the growing amount of perspiration and then my nose began to drip. Drip. Drip.
I began my song selection, years of playing and practicing allowing me to forget everything but the moment of making music- connecting with an instrument and making it sing, barely distracted with necessary sniffling to keep the nose drips in check.
I played my no doubt swollen heart out while my large stomach was displayed for all to see, and somehow ignored the stage that was groaning under all of my extra weight.
Thinking about the little baby that I was growing inside of me that was causing my body to be so heinously misshapen, I connected my bow to the strings with hopes that perhaps someday he will learn to love music as much as I do.
My imagination filled with images of my two children someday playing duets in church- standing proudly together as their inexperienced little fingers sought to learn the same instrument that years of mastery now came so easily to me.
Music and love blended together to create a violin solo satisfactory to even my own critical ears.
Finishing my selection, I limped my way off of the stage, experiencing severe lower back pain and praying that I didn’t go into labor while everyone was still staring.
But for those blessed few moments, I forgot. Because that’s just what music does.
I noticed that my name is on the schedule for August 28th, a week before I’m due. I accused the scheduler of hating me, and gracefully declined. I’m just not sure this fat puffy cow could take a second appearance.
Oh, and to magnify my humiliation? Addison broke my snazzy red necklace after the service while I was talking to friends….as beautiful red beads scattered across the auditorium recklessly flung by her small hand, I fear that perhaps she hates me as well…