Monday, April 16, 2007

and feed them on your dreams...

last night, i started writing a post about the baby shower i threw for b.g. yesterday.
actually, it wasn't really about the shower. it would be more accurate to say that it was inspired by the shower, by the multitude of baby things: tiny pink pumas, cute little dresses with those matching diaper cover thing-things, and, of course, all the practical crap like butt-wipes, car seats, bouncy seats, and the like.

it started with all of the crap that b.g. got yesterday; i just couldn't get over how such a teensy little person can require so much...stuff. and then i started thinking, even with these carloads of crap...is she going to have enough stuff? how can we reallly make sure that she's going to have everything she needs?

and then i started thinking about the bigger picture: like, material crap aside, how are we going to raise this little girl?
yes, i say we.
it takes a village, you know.

all of the sudden, i just couldn't stop thinking about b.g., and i, and all of the crap that we've helped each other through. there've been so many lessons that we had to learn the hard way: so many nights crying on the couch, so many freak-outs about things that weren't worth it, so many moments of self-doubt. thank god we were there to help each other through it. but, now, i wonder: can we raise this baby girl to be a better woman than we have been? can we give her everything she'll need so that one day she will walk out into the world with her head high, sensitive to the needs and desires and opinions of others, but still sufficiently self-confident that she will never be broken by the needs, desires, and opinions of those other people?

****
working in the bar, b.g. and i have been through many 'cycles' of workers. being that we work in a college town, we'll have about two years with a pretty consistent crew, and then they'll move on, and we'll get a new crew who seem like the norm after a while. but, b.g. and i? we worked there before we went to school, we worked there while we went to school, and now that we're done with school...yeah, we still work there.
(we will not discuss the possibility that going to school at all may have been an enormous waste of time and money, because some of us might still be pretending that they will actually get a job 'in their field' at some point.)
the point is:
when b.g. and i first started working at the bar, we were the young ones.
(sadly, that was over 10 years ago)
we were the ones with the overly dramatic stories of woe, and the break-ups that we thought would surely kill us, and we had the 'older girls' who already worked there to teach us the ropes. sure, they taught us how to drink, how to work a double with a hangover and only 45 minutes of sleep, and many other such things. but they were also our therapists. they listened to our stories, and they weren't phased: they had seen it all. they listened, and they gave us advice. they called us on our overly dramatic crap.
they gave us perspective.

now, b.g. and i are the 'older girls.'
(actually, we've been the 'older girls' for quite some time now)
for the past few years, we've been the ones that the younger girls come to. now, we call them on their overly dramatic bullshit, but we also try to give them strength. we try to help them be better than we were.

we try to get them to love themselves more than we have loved ourselves.

we try to give them perspective.

and, while i'm sure it is helpful...
mainly, we've learned that there is one steadfast rule that comes with being a woman: we simply refuse to learn from each others mistakes.
we insist on making them for ourselves.
now, this isn't to say that there isn't some value to trying.
when you go out there and fuck something up really bad, it is always comforting to know that you're not the only ass hat to have ever done such a thing.
it's that whole 'strength in numbers' thing, i suppose.
still, we've been frustrated many times when--no matter how convincing we were, no matter how much evidence we gave, no matter how much the object of our advice agreed with us--they simply cannot stop themselves from learning the hard way.
****

but, now? b.g. is about to give the world a whole new person, and i wonder: can we finally break the cycle?

can we make her love herself more than we have loved ourselves?
****

anyway, that's what i started writing last night.
then, today, i woke up and saw that someone had shot someone else in their dorm room at virginia tech.
at noon, i looked at the tv again, and all of the sudden they were saying that at least 20 people had been killed. shortly after, they upped the number to 32. apparently, some guy walked into a classroom and started shooting people.
and, of course, i know it's cliche, but i started thinking about how it must be the scariest thing ever, to buy all this baby stuff: a rubber duck-head thing to cover the faucet in your bathtub, baby aspirin, a car seat, a monitor for the baby's room, so you can always make sure that they're breathing, and still know that there is absolutely nothing you can really do to keep your baby safe, because it lives in a world where sometimes people get mad and go on random shooting sprees.

but, that's just the same old story, right? there's never been a baby born into a completely safe world.
we can't protect her from everything.

but, we can hopefully raise her to see the good in things, before she sees the bad.
we can teach her to love and laugh with every ounce of her being, so that any bad moments--which will inevitably come--will be at least slightly more tolerable because real love and laughter are insulators of the soul, and they can keep you strong in trying times--even if you can't summon a laugh, or even a smile, in the moment.

we can love her with our whole souls, and we can hope that she loves herself the same way.

really, if she loves herself even a little, we will have succeeded.

at any rate, i can't wait to start trying.
i can't wait to see b.g. and tim become the little family that they almost are, and i can't wait to see how much love is about to come into this world.
****

and you probably can't wait for me to stop it already, with the sappiness.

9 comments:

Dave said...

I know you hate me, but that was a really good post. Goodluck. I mean it.

Star8278 said...

Don't stop with the sappiness if it is what is in your heart to share with us!

That was a great post! I am always amazed and inspired by your knack for putting emotions into words.

Your friend is very blessed to have you in her life!

Mrs. Sausedo said...

Great post...I think pensive is the emotion of the world at the moment...even my DOG is pacing, pensively. Well written.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

"can we raise this baby girl to be a better woman than we have been?"

The fact that you are going to try tells me that you are half-way there.

And we all have to learn things the hard way. A child never fully understands what hot is until they burn themselves.

lamama said...

you are an amazingly insightful woman

Kendra said...

i just stole your whole section about the steadfast rule of women and posted it on my site, giving you due credits of course! :) loved it!!

CS said...

I have to say, I don't think that's a steadfast rule of being a woman - I think its a steadfast rule of being a human. I see it over and over again with male and female patients, so I'm sure about this one. It's virtually impossible to learn from someone else's mistakes.

Mikala said...

What a great post! I love it!

Love ya!

Misa Gracie said...

This little girl is so very lucky to have people like you waiting for her.

She may choose to learn the hard way, no one can really change that fact. And honestly that isn't the crucial part, it's how you support her as she learns that matters.

From what I can tell from your writing, you and her parents are well on your way to being a strong and loving support system.