I have never really been a broody person. I have generally held the opinion that life would be equally good with, or without, children. As a result, my pregnancy has been something of detatched fascination so far. I admit I rather enjoy sitting watching the bump perform gymnastics, and have been distracted a few too many times in meetings as a result, but it still feels like something that is occuring to me rather than something I am actively embracing.
Until the last few days.
I seem to have finally (and some may say not a bit too soon) become maternal and broody. I feel a real connection with the Bump, and am looking forward to her arriving in my world - however hard it may prove to be getting her here and then the next 18 years. It is also, however, having a very strange effect on me generally, and I am finding myself being maternal about all my other "broods" too.
At 5am today I found myself dragging myself out of bed, in the pitch dark, to get in a cold taxi halfway across Hong Kong. Unable to paddle the massive Around the Island Race (which is, as the name would suggest, a race that circumnavigates HK island), I offered to be safety officer and coordinate the crews on the day. If the truth be known, all of the hard organisation has been done by other people, but nevertheless I found myself this morning collecting waivers, checking radios, programming in endless emails and phone numbers into a Blackberry, and even hunting down a spare speedboat. All this I expected, however I did not expect the enormous sense of pride as my 10 charges sat in the middle of the harbour, on the start line, exactly where and when they should have been, to start the race.
Throughout the race I found myself, mother hen-like, checking on their progress. One crew flipped and righted their boat, but let me know they were OK. Another had an injured crew member but I stayed in touch until I knew it was all fine and that she was on land. The winning crew, comprised of the type of men the word "strapping" was created to refer to, let me know when they were in the harbour and I made sure all of the safety boats were in the right place should any ferries choose to take them out.
I admit, a bit pathetically, that as I ticked off my final crew when it came safely home and sent out the "all safe home" end of race message to my charges, I started to well up a little.
Perhaps I won't be quite so bad at this motherhood thing as I thought. So long as the Bump comes out as being about 6'4, Hawaiian, tanned, and paddling a large canoe.