For those of you knew to the story there is one important thing you need to know. I did not enjoy pregnancy. Regularly referred to it as the ultimate Machiavellian experience (the ends justify the means). Didn't even have a particularly eventful pregnancy. But being pregnant just is not fun.
Yet, as the debate season gets underway tonight I find myself oddly nostalgic for it, and suspect that this may be an annual occurrence for me.
My pregnancy with Hedgehog was deeply connected to the debate calendar. The season started right as I was firmly entrenching myself in the second trimester, and his due date was the day of the last state qualifying meet of the season. As the team grew and developed so did my belly.
So this morning I was shopping for Sweetie's debate rations. Debate meet food and food sensitivities don't always get along very well, so I always pack Sweetie a big bag of friendly food to help get him through the tournaments. Last year the bag got packed at the beginning of the season and would be restocked the instant a tournament was over, as it was not only served as debate meet rations, but it was part of our luggage when we left for the hospital as well, so it had to be ready on a moment's notice. (Ironically, I had Sweetie's food for the hospital packed starting 4-1/2 months before Hedgehog's birth, but did not start actually packing my own bag until about 15 minutes after my water broke).
In about a month we'll be competing at Ridgefield High School's annual tournament. The Spudder. (The school's mascot is the potato. They will celebrate this by serving us baked potatoes for lunch). That was the meet where the belly had officially grown large enough that I could no longer fit into a student desk for judging purposes. So I would have to spin desks around and use teacher's desk chairs to arrange a suitable desk for myself.
Come January we'll be making our way to a big, University tournament. It was at another big tournament where I had to make the request (that was ignored) to not be given any rooms too far away. It's not that I wasn't capable of walking those distances, but the speed at which I was walking at seven months pregnant I could have single-handedly killed the schedule for the tournament.
And as the student's excitement built to the state qualifying meets, so did my excitement build to Hedgehog's birth. Last year I was judging at one of the tournaments about 36 hours before Hedgehog was born. The students knew his arrival was imminent, and seemed surprised that I was there.
And now Hedgehog, Debate champion of 2025, is here. He attended a bit of the meet this evening. He seemed to love the atmosphere. Which is a good thing, since he'll probably be spending a fair amount of his time in the coming years hanging out at debate meets.
And I'll probably spend a fair amount of my time at debate meets thinking back to when he was still on his way here.