Monday, July 27, 2009

Storks bring babies. At least, that's what I'm telling ours.

The White Stork is a symbol of Alsace: the tourist shops here abound with stuffed versions, and four stone ones even made it onto the Cathedral. Though nearly extinct in the '70s, a major conservation effort has succeeded in rehabilitating the population, and now can be seen throughout the countryside, stalking farmer’s fields for food. They are considered to be good luck, and so it is fairly common to see round platforms built on top of houses and churches in the local villages to encourage them to build their nests atop ones home.

There are many legends and folk beliefs attached to the bird, not least that their association with fertility. As in North America, young children are often told by squeamish parents attempting to avoid the biological nitty-gritty that Ciconia ciconia was to blame for the sudden arrival of their baby brother or sister.

Which brings me to the subject of this post: we’re expecting a visit from the stork ourselves. Many (possibly all) of my readers have already been told through other means, but Amynah is pregnant, and expected to deliver on December 13. We had a major ultrasound today, which revealed that our child has the correct number and placement of limbs, digits, and eyes and appears to be in fine fettle overall. It also revealed that it will be a girl.

We’re obviously very happy about this, even while being a little stressed by the idea of moving to the far side of a distant continent just prior to the birth, but life is never predictable.

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