Monday, February 14, 2011
People who had hardly paid any attention to me, or had never spoken with me, are suddenly my best friends (okay, slight exaggeration). There are those people in my life who had never said more than a hello to me, and are now blowing me kisses. Strangers in stores have full length discussions with me concerning breast feeding and due dates. Friends and relatives that I haven’t spoken with in 15 or 20 years are suddenly calling, e-mailing, and contacting me with their experiences, advice, concerns….and of course congratulations.
I have entered the pregnancy club - or otherwise known as the ‘people who have children’ club.
I had no idea that I wasn’t a member of this exclusive club over the years. I knew I didn’t have children. I’m not completely oblivious. I guess I just didn’t notice that there was an actual club. That people would treat me differently. I noticed that I connected with some people and not with others. Totally natural, right? I never really thought that all I had to do was get pregnant and suddenly people would want to speak with me. Go figure.
I have my theories as to why:
1. People love feeling wise, and they love sharing their viewpoints, advice, and experiences in the world of children. It’s a chance for people to share of themselves.
2. Babies are just so cute, so innocent and pure, so untainted by the shenanigans of life. There’s a small window of opportunity for us jaded folks to tap into it, experience the joys of a new life, and enjoy its vibe. Before they grow up and enter the “mine” phase – or as Eckhart Tolle calls it in “A New Earth” – the developing ego.
3. Getting excited about pregnancy and babies is a way for people to feel connected. We are all connected on this planet – every single one of us is a being on this Earth. We all feel love, sadness, disappointment, gratitude. We are all going to die one day, and we all feel our bodies’ strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes this is hard to see and feel because we become encumbered by our differences. Bringing life into this world is a tangible way for people to feel connected with the other. People all over the world have babies – no matter what race, religion, or political ideology. Isn’t that nice?
Now that I have entered the club, I can’t help but ask myself: If I wasn’t pregnant, would you be talking to me? What about the people who aren’t “in the club”? Some people judge them. I know that Oprah has been badgered for years for not having children or getting married. Others feel pity for those without kids.
And then others, which I hope I’m a part of, accept that everyone has their own journey in life, their own experiences, and their own set of lessons to learn.
I say: Let’s do away with the club mentality – meaning, where someone has to be in the club in order to connect with them.
It’s fun to share about pregnancy and having children. Absolutely! I’m happy to be re-connecting with folks that I haven’t spoken with in years. I don’t want to dissuade people from sharing. My basic point is that although it’s fun to connect with people on things we have in common, it’s also great to thrive in our differences.
We are all connected. We’re all humans on this Earth - with emotions, feelings, hopes, and dreams. We all have a lot to share and wisdom to offer. We’re all grasping for the joys of life in our own way. So let’s listen to each other and learn.