I used to call you Little Bean, but you’re changing so fast that my nicknames can’t keep up. Alfalfa Sprout seems about right for now. So today is Chinese New Year – the Year of the Black Water Snake. Kung Hei Fat Choy! That’s how they say it in Hong Kong, a big and wonderful city at the bottom of a bigger and even more wondrous country called China. The snake is supposed to be a good, prosperous sign and represents a fortuitous time to start a family. But it’s also the year that some pretty bad stuff has happened – 9/11, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Great Depression….all events you’ll eventually hear about. But it was also the year of the Bolshevik Revolution and that wasn’t all bad, you being part Russian and everything.
(Plushy snakes at Victoria Park in Hong Kong via The Atlantic)
By the way, I’ve been meaning to explain something. A few weeks ago, your mum and I went in for our first ultrasound to check in on you and I think we pissed you off. Sorry about that. But we had to be sure that everything was operating as it should and it was. But in order to find out, we had to push you around a bit inside mum’s tummy to get a good photo. You kicked your legs and lifted your arms to the side of your head, sort of like that painting by Edvard Munch, The Scream. You’ll see it when you come out.
We laughed. You looked so cute and then we heard your heartbeat. Wow, it was like deep-sea thunder: *BOOM*BOOM*! You were pounding so fast I got worried, but the doctor reassured us that 152 bpm was normal for your age. We’re coming again soon to take another photo and we may even be able to see if you’re a boy or girl. Pretty cool, eh?