repost: baby shower

by humanmama on July 2, 2013

I know two or three pregnant people right now and I am expecting baby showers soon. And that means I am going to have to buy some presents.

It never ceases to amaze me how we, as women, can hold an entire race of humans in secrecy about what actually happens when you have kids. How your life is never the same, never as simple, how things are harder and tireder and your back always hurts. How there’s never enough of anything you actually need again: money, time, sleep, patience–but on the other hand an absolute sodding surplus of things you don’t need or don’t want (think dirty diapers, laundry, life-decisions).

What is it that keeps us moms in a code of silence? I’ve said it before, if men had babies approximately one man would have one baby, and then say to the other men “do NOT do this” and the entire of humanity would die out. But women–we’re stuck in this kind of secret silence about the gravity of the situation, which we make even worse by bringing gifts and planning showers for the whole of the pregnancies to make it seem as if having a baby is like a really long Hanukkah. What is it that keeps us bringing gifts and planning parties instead of warning those future mommies?

Oh yeah: I just remembered what it is.

It’s that love. That little seed that those kids plant inside you when you first see them–upon adopting, or giving birth to them (or as I say, having them “extracted”). That little seed of amazing love that grows and grows with the first months, and then years, and then just keeps on growing, until–like that plant in Little Shop of Horrors–it absolutely consumes you. You are just nuts with love, and until the day you die (may it be a long time from now) you will hold a photo, or probably a phone with photos on it, up to a complete stranger to show them your kid, or kids, or even nieces or nephews. And you’ll go on and on and on even knowing that the other person might not care but just bragging about what your son said, or what your daughter did. It’s something so strange that makes the strongest woman or man just weak knowing that there is a part of your heart that is actually out there in the world, outside of your body, exposed, and hoping that it protects itself long enough it to return home for dinner, god willing.

And maybe that’s why we bring presents: it’s a right of passage. And it’s usually something that will help soften the blow of what’s about to change lives forever. But mostly, it’s a celebration of love, love, love: the purest and most amazing life-changing love of your life.

And celebrations always warrant presents.

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