When I was little, I was painfully shy. I hated attention from a lot of people. Absolutely dreaded it.
I remember when I was about 7 years old, I caught the bouquet at my cousin's wedding. Everyone started surrounding me and smiling and talking to me. The DJ even announced that "the littlest lady here had won the prize". I started squirming and getting so uncomfortable, that I was on the verge of tears.
I remember, even then, feeling a great sense of relief and security because my parents knew how to protect me.
"Take her outside for a bit of air, Ed," my Mom said to my Dad.
Dad grabbed my hand and we hustled outside so I could calm down without people looking at me and congratulating me. (And just being nice in general).
At some point in my life, I got over this painfully shy thing.
Now... well, for anyone who knows me... I can be a little bit of an attention whore. I don't mind it at all, now. I could even say that I love it.
Which is one of the reasons why being obviously pregnant is kind of awesome.
This morning, while sitting on the train, a woman who was 6 months pregnant struck up a conversation with me about my maternity coat. We spent the entire train ride, not reading our newspapers, but chatting happily about pregnancy. Two strangers. Sharing stories.
Last night, one of the check-out guys at our grocery store congratulated Andrew and I, and asked us how long until "we get to be a Mommy and Daddy". Yesterday, a friendly woman offered up her seat to me on the subway. When I was out for brunch with Andrew in December, a grey-haired Grandpa-type-looking old man winked at me.
I've been smiled at by strangers, I've had doors held for me, I've had well wishes and I've had a few interested stares.
It's quite nice.
So, I've come to realize that not only does pregnancy provide you with a wonderful, amazing outcome after 9 months - in the form of (undoubtedly) a gorgeous little baby to marvel over - you also get to soak up all the attention and good wishes you can from family, friends, and even strangers.
This pregnancy gig is pretty cool.