Monday, February 06, 2006

Giving Birth

I'm an adoptive mom. I know that bio moms and adoptive moms have plenty of shared reasons to be equally Pissed Off, but sometimes I just marvel at the differences.

This last Christmas my Amazon wish list was loaded with books of earnest essays about motherhood and so I spent most of January mulling them over. Here's what I've learned:

1. With all due respect: Birth stories are interesting, but I can only read so many. I'm fascinated by hear the birth stories of friends and family, but most of the time, once the story's been processed enough to be written down for mass consumption, it's been drained of what makes it engaging: the horror and the comedy. This is why Shirley Jackson's birth stories (see Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages) are so great. The best part of the birth stories is that they make me glad I didn't give birth.

2. Again, with respect: Most newborns are kind of boring. They're weirdly floppy and can't really focus. They cry and pee and poop, but only someone charged with the care of the child really cares about that stuff. And one's thoughts while gazing at the face of one's newborn child tend to be boring, too, though some of that is probably the result, again, of too much processing for public consumption. I can only read "aw, so precious" or "holy shit, I'm in trouble now" so many times, you know?

3. I got really tired of reading, in effect, "Pregnancy and birth turned me into a mother." Well, yeah, it's true of course, but actually taking care of a child is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

That's enough for now. I'll have more later.


Blogger John Cowan said...

Amen, amen, amen, a thousand times amen!
--Adoptive father of 18-year old difficult child (of whom I am very proud)

10:29 AM  
Anonymous michael said...

Amen, and amen.
-- an adopted son.

1:40 PM  

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