Warm-Hearted (Central) Americans

I adore Central America. I love the way the heat sits on your thirsty skin like a wet bathing suit. I stepped off the plane and my brain sent emergency alerts to my confused body and I was instantly perspiring in all the wrong places. I marveled at the locals who seemed to glow ethereally while we foreigners glistened and shifted uncomfortably in our absurd performance fleece and denim airplane attire. After a few days though, I relished my sun-kissed skin and frizzled hair, the climate seeped into my pores and my overstuffed suitcase was as useless as 60+SPF.

Paradise from above

Paradise from above

Sensory memories from the PanAm proved accurate and somehow magnified but what I didn’t anticipate was the all-encompassing joy my pregnant belly could bring to total strangers. I felt like a celebrity everywhere we went, I considered practicing my pageant wave and flawless autograph flourish every time someone beamed ecstatically in my direction. It was a refreshing change of pace from the oddly concentrated frowns back home.

Stairs? Oh no ma’am, not for you, let me direct you to the special VIP pregnant-lady elevator. I found myself gratefully accepting every sincere offer of goodwill and unavoidably comparing them to the snide “I just thought you were fat” remarks I received prior to stamping my passport. Security line? No no, you probably have to pee, right this way to the front of the line. Forget the scanner, how could you be a terrorist? You’re a mother! Tell that to the TSA agents who scolded me to “just go through” the scanners in Texas. Waiting in line for the ladies room in Guatemala was like being on tour. If one lady caught a whiff of my impending motherhood, the whole line was an uproar of nudges and whispers and I was faced with 12 women smiling so hard it looked like they were instantly creating new facial creases with the effort. Is this what it feels like to be Oprah I wondered.

These ladies had no objections to us joining their roadside tortillaria

These ladies had no objections to us joining their roadside tortillaria

More valuable than any trinkets I brought home was the perspective. The frigid Nebraska temperatures had only aided the ice forming around my heart lately. I have been embarrassingly consumed by my expanding waistline and the judgement of others, so easily forgetting the time and energy spent hoping to get to this place. These precious few months left to me are meant to be cherished. In the sultry heat of Belize and Guatemala, I let it melt away and embraced the simplicity of kind words and sincere affection, the small gestures of genuine compassion I hope to teach our daughter soon.

 

Baby's first ruined adventure

Baby’s first ruined adventure

3 thoughts on “Warm-Hearted (Central) Americans

  1. Char says:

    I have never loved my body so much as when I was pregnant! I loved my round belly, the movement inside, and all of the anticipation of something amazing about to happen. It’s still is a miracle to me that our bodies can produce such perfect creatures!!! I love pregnant women! I love your excitement!! Embrace this time!! It’s the best ever and so very short!! Prepare for the gift you’ve been given! And post more pregnant selfies!!! Many of us adore them and they brighten our day. Take care

  2. Stevie says:

    Yes!!! Oh this post reminded me of being a celebrity, oops I mean a pregnant woman, in Peru. Never waiting in line, the constant flow of smiling faces, the genuine care of the ENTIRE VILLAGE. And breastfeeding was so chill, normal, and even regarded as BEAUTIFUL. The giving birth part was a little nerve wreaking, but the rest was great! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad I’m not the only one who experienced that awesome perspective.

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