|my babies nursing their baby dolls|
Monday, July 29, 2013
Birth in the Park
At a very large, very crowded urban park recently, pickin' up on the neighboring mommy blanket, I chatted friendly with a couple of other crunchy mamas. A bit later I was slightly agape watching her 2 year old strip down nude and birth her baby doll.
Yes, read it again. Mama encouraged her daughter through the doll-birthing process, "that's right, push the baby out" and "you're such a good mommy."
It took me almost a week to process the feelings that came up with this experience.
The first thing that happened, Monk-A-Doodle, my token lovin'-naked-life-child, came to ask "it's okay to be naked outside?"
Carefully I said, "yes, it is okay to be naked outside. Though, sweetheart," surveying the expanse, "I'm not comfortable as this park is so big, and so busy right now, so just keep your swimsuit on, okay?" This child is so very tactile in her soothing and cuddling, I also couldn't be sure what she'd do.
To be socially responsible I've learned to take others' comfort level into account. (Incidentally if we had and expanse of private land, there'd definitely be some instance of naked baby butts outside. Butt then there's this option.) I guess I've become somewhat a prude in my maturing mommy-hood years, or maybe it's because I've little girls and I'm too aware of over-sexualization of young girls in our society.
As for the mock birth the little girl played out, it's probably a realistic throwback to tribal days when all the women and girls were involved on some level to aid a woman giving birth. It actually caused me to think I might've taken a different tack with F, but the way things occur in this era---I answer the questions that come up in an honest succinct manner, careful not to over-answer (this book is great). Introducing life experience subject matter like birth and nursing makes sense, even if they mayn't have a conscious memory of the pretending, it would hopefully match their intuitive nature later on, making the whole experience less frightening.
Maybe that momma was a doula or a midwife and it's part of their daily life experience, it brought up interesting thought process for me. In a follow-up conversation a dear friend helped with a final aspect I had been struggling with but hadn't been able to put to words. It was the public nature of the display. Birth, like death I think, is an intensely private experience. We invite only trusted people and family into that experience, and typically carefully choose our location for focus and comfort. The very public nature of that particular park, well, it was a shock to my system.
I'm beginning to love all manner of challenging experiences. Life is good, all the time!