Why is the prospect of a BRAND NEW PERSON so darn exciting? Especially a FIRST baby.
Standing at the door today, I watched the neighbours across the street leave to have their first baby.
At least, I think that's what they were doing. There was a supportive woman-type person there (midwife?), who gave the wife a hug (touchy-feely holistic-type health person, former masseuse turned birth partner?) before taking off in her own car. The husband was carrying a huge purple exercise ball (ho ho!) and speaking a little louder than usual (nervous?). Clues!
I don't even like these people. In fact, I mildly hate them for no reason other than a) they're rich (okay, maybe not rich, because they're on this street, but there's only two of them in a great big honking ostentatious house which sticks out like a literal throbbing thumb, and b) they almost (okay, indirectly) killed a guy last year in the building of said ostentatious thumb-house.
So why do I care so much that she's pregnant? That they're due any minute now? What is this thing that compels me to stand lurking inside my door watching and eavesdropping? (this is the best street for eavesdropping, because it's only a couple of car-widths across and the houses are only a few metres apart)
(Just as an aside: ordinarily, I'd say the guy almost dying was totally not their fault, by the way, except the husband was very involved with the construction and was at the site every day to oversee the building activities... and there were NO safety standards enforced until I got the city inspector involved. I'm talking an open PIT in the middle of the construction site, no fence, two doors away from a very busy school with kids actually playing in the construction area until they were forced to tack up flimsy orange fences. That oughtta keep the kids out!)
Ah, life. And our lurid fascination with the diverse entrances and exits thereto.
When my father was first diagnosed, he immediately (like 2 weeks later) took the kids to a show called, "Famous Puppet Death Scenes." Which was exactly what it was about. Maybe a year ago, maybe a little less. Awkward for the kids, but I kind of wished I could have seen it. He said he wasn't inviting me. It was always tougher to bring me along because of the little kids. They went to see the puppet show right after Shabbos one week. My mother had to drive them down; they had to leave the second Shabbos was over. He was always bringing them places, finding stuff he thought they'd appreciate, or, if not appreciate as such, at least remember.
Me, too, when I was a kid.
I hope I parent like that, too.
Breaking the Memory Barrier is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Which memories will my kids keep, especially from early childhood, this period we parents put so much sweat and tears into? Very little. How do we make sure something which is significant to us is something they will remember?
I still haven't figured it out.
Other than slapping them! If you have a fight or blow up or punish them in some way, they will remember forever.
I told YM last year that he HAD to remember my father, so he could tell the younger kids. But even as I said that, I knew he probably couldn't remember most of it for them.