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The Space Between the Notes

I’m writing this in an airport terminal, waiting for a plane that will take me two time zones away from my pregnant wife. Buckle in; this will almost certainly ramble quite a bit.


As it happens, August is a busy month of travel for me, attending Dribbble meetups in Salem and San Francisco and attending the Madison+ Ruby conference at the end of the month. It’s good that these all happened to be in August, because Angela and I decided a while ago that we wouldn’t plan any travel starting September, as we approach the October due date for our baby boy, whom we’ve nicknamed Ragnar until we can figure out an actual name we can both live with.

The Salem trip came at an interesting time in the pregnancy. Angela’s been feeling little Ragnar moving and kicking for a long time, but I haven’t been able to participate. Every time she calls me over to feel her belly, I end up not feeling a damned thing. While I was away in Salem, that all changed. Once I got home, I could feel him kick. I could feel his little feet poking out when he stretches. I could hear him moving around in there.

And, predictably, this has triggered all sorts of emotions. Feeling his kicks has been one more milestone which made things feel all the more real. Even more real than when I first heard his heartbeat. Even more real than when I saw him in an ultrasound. Even more real than when we toured daycare facilities. Even more real than when we assembled the furniture for his nursery.

As exciting as these milestones have been, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to the mundane aspects of life with my wife before the baby, because I know that in a few short weeks this will all fundamentally change. Angela and I are having all sorts of Important Conversations™ about what life with Ragnar will be like, and how we’d like to respond to the day-to-day challenges of raising a child. We’re also having not-at-all important conversations about the big, dumb, fun summer movies that we’ve seen or the latest plot twist in our favorite TV shows. (While we’re on the topic, can you even believe what happened in Ba Sing Se in the latest episode of Legend of Korra?) It’s those conversations which we (as a society) tend not to pay as much attention to, even though they make up so much of our lives.


Angela and I have been taking weekly pictures of the progress of her pregnancy. We have no particular plans for them, but we figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. The photo shoot has just become a part of our after-work routine on Monday.

Sometimes we forget about it, and we’ve moved on to dinner by the time we think about it, so we grumble and get to it before we lose the evening light. Sometimes Angela isn’t feeling very well, so I have to cajole her into letting me take her picture.

Maybe it has become too routine.

That thought hadn’t occurred to me until I tried to annoy Angela while we were setting up. The pictures that came out of that bout of goofing off are, frankly, some of my favorite pictures of Angela, and I present them to you here.

Phase A

I get up in her face with the camera while she’s adjusting her sleeves for the photo shoot, to which she reacts understandably annoyed.

Angela, glaring at me

Phase B

She returns to the task at hand, believing that I’d gotten the message to wait to take her picture.

Angela, not realizing her picture is being taken

Phase C

Realizing that I’m still taking her picture, she flips me the bird.

Angela, flipping me the bird


Music is the space between the notes.

Claude Debussy was referring to music, but it seems to me that this is true of everyday life, also.


Posted 2014-08-12 in Notes.