Monday, March 16, 2009

Babies are work. They are funny looking, smelly, blob-like and extremely impatient. But they are also pretty magical. It's hard to know why, what with the exhaustion, the thankless giving and the full time job that comes with parenting, but many people really do love babies. Random people smile at me as I stroller G down the street. Homeless men peek under her visor to catch a glimpse. Strangers ask how old she is. Why do people care?

By the end of my pregnancy I was annoyed with people's questions about my womb. "When are you due?" "Do you have names picked out?" And my favorite, "How's it going mama?" But I realized that people love a pregnant woman because of what she represents. No matter what your beliefs, pregnancy is a crazy miracle. A woman is growing another person. And in an attempt to be close to that miracle and the innocence and purity it represents, people try to get close to you.

Now G is is an extension of that miracle. She comes from some place far away and she is connected to something much bigger. So people still want to be close to her.

My husband and I wonder when it is that she will lose her pure goodness. Will we know? Will she know? And is it then that she becomes just another person on the street? Is it then that everyone forgets the miracle that she is?

Friday, March 13, 2009

My husband wrote that initial entry. He clearly likes me. But his question is a good one, why start a blog? I don't have the answer but feel compelled to join the ranks of bloggers anyway. Although, I am sort of hoping no one reads it- except maybe my Mom and my two brothers - one a liberal leftist Californian who loves to challenge anyone to a good political discussion and the other, a writer often inclined to laugh out loud with no apparent reason- both, I figure, would be good for banter. And my husband, he is a super clever one, although his entries will most likely be more along the lines of praise than anything.

Me? I am a first time mother of a 6 week old. I feel for some reason that calls for a blog- a blog titled something like, "What were we thinking?"

A doctor friend calls childbirth a "medical disaster narrowly averted. The birth canal, he says, is not designed for the birthing process. It is most unnatural, an evolutionary error." He told me this as I sat big and round, awaiting the inevitable.

I am currently holding my very own almost medical disaster. She is loud and pink and inclined to smell funny. If you ask me though, the real potential for disaster comes not at birth but from the first months with the little person. Parenting is just damage control, at least at this point. It's as if, you're suddenly hired to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company. You have heard of the company but you have absolutely no experience in the field, your background being more in the wheat and barley sector. And you have never been asked to take such great responsibility so quickly. Yet now you are supposed to not only keep the company going but you are supposed to make sure it flourishes. This "career" will span the rest of your life and take up most minutes of the day and night. Go.

One friend advised us "embrace the poop." Truer words were never spoken. Who knew that two people could suddenly speak so frequently of poop- it's color, it's frequency, the act of and yes literally embracing the poop. There is really nothing else you can do when at the end of the day you find something mustard color in your fingernail.

As a parent, things like poop-talk start immediately. What does not come immediately, at least for me, is that feeling of wonder at being a mother. Really, that feeling of even feeling like a mother has evaded me. At what point does a mom really become a mom?