Saturday, July 09, 2005

being born is important

Congratulations to Sonya, Lyle and Sara and welcome to Sara's baby brother! He was born Friday morning and weighs 9 pounds 10 ounces. Everyone is well and happy.

I got the happy news while I was walking the dog. When I got home I told the kids. I pointed out to our daughter (the largest birthweight child in our family) that this baby was even heavier than she was at birth. This prompted son to ask about his birthweight. For the record, they were 9 pounds even (he) and 9 pounds 8 ounces (she). Both seemed proud when I told them this, as if being a robust baby was a personal accomplishment of some kind.

Then daughter asked, "Who hurt the most coming out?" This was an interesting question for an almost 12 year old to ask. She's been retreating from my attempts to keep the dialogue about sex and life in general open between us, so I grabbed the opportunity (gently). I told her that for sure she hurt a lot more than her brother. In fact, it hurt so much while she was being born that I got very grumpy and told grandma to shut up. Poor grandma, she was just offering coffee and bagels with peanut butter around to the assembled helpers/observers and I transformed from an appreciative and stoic labouring mom to a crazed egocentric banshee (but only for a few minutes). So now the kids know about the transition phase of child birth, and not to offer bagels if they are in the same room with a woman who is going through it.

It's interesting how we fixate on the statistics about our moment of emergence. Birthweight, length of labour, hairy or bald, water breakng at home or in hospital, drugs/natural/surgical. To me, all of these things seem inconsequential compared to the actual business of growing up together as a parent and child. But we talk more about them than most of our most important days and challenges in our real ongoing lives. I guess we all like to mark that miraculous moment and the honour the heroic effort. It's proof of life and of of our individuality, the end of chapter one of our own personal history.

Welcome babies one and all. Congratulations on your birth, your individuality, your continuation through heroic lives.

question: how much did you weigh?

mompoet - 7 pounds six ounces

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