Thursday, March 15, 2012

Goodbye, Mothering

I almost feel like I'm selling my babies' babyhood:

I'm selling endless mornings hanging out in the playroom at Bloomington Area Birth Services, flipping through their Mothering magazines, engaging in fascinating conversation with other new mothers about the all the minutiae of our precious babies.

I'm selling a second round of those endless mornings, flipping through the same Mothering magazines, this time much less fascinated by the minutiae discussed by the first-time mommies around me. Diapering? Sleeping? Is she eating enough? Eh, I worried about all that stuff the first time around.

I bought my own subscription, I read every single article, I looked up the authors to read what else they'd written, I examined every ad, then looked up those web sites--it was my first (not nearly last) experience of feeling aghast at the prices put on unfinished wooden toys, or the kinds of woolens that can't be put in your washing machine.

I'd mark certain articles for Matt to read, and he'd come back to me, magazine in hand, saying things like "One of their kids had chicken pox and so they got all the other kids in their playgroup sick ON PURPOSE?!?". Ah, silly boy, with his own first (not nearly last) experience of some unique parenting perspectives.

I kept these magazines what feels like forever, gathering more, lending them out to pregnant friends, getting them back a year later sometimes and rediscovering them myself.

It's always sad to give away something else that signifies, to you, that you don't intend to have more children (especially if you kind of maybe might want more, just a little). Selling our cloth diapers felt the same, as did putting out the turtle sandbox, and the Duplos, and the board books at our last garage sale.

Of course, when I was looking through these magazines to write their description for my ebay listing and I found the magazine for Sydney's birth month and year, I set that one aside from the sell stack altogether. When she's a great grown-up girl and she reads for herself the parenting magazine that I was reading the month that I gave birth to her, will she be touched? Amused?

Or horrified like her poor father?

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