Tuesday, November 30, 2004

what child is this?

Always a generous soul, without any prompting, Mike tells me my six-month pregnant body looks "elegant." I waddle my naked self back over to the full length mirror thinking maybe I missed something. Hmm. Well, we're all entitled to our own opinion.

There is my beach ball belly (a given), my stretched out bellybutton, and … whose boobs are these, anyway? Maybe it's just that all the holiday music is already playing nonstop everywhere you turn, but lately I can't seem to shake this one ditty from my head. It's a composition of my own: "Whose boobs are these?" sung to the tune of "What child is this?" (Whose boobs are these/ that came to rest/ on Kitty's lap lay sleeping… etc.)

But I also can't escape without examining more closely the original song, its title leaping out to me no longer as some kind of sacred rhetorical question, but one that maybe Mary really asked and wanted an answer to. I mean the stories all circulate around the shepherds, the angels, the wisemen, yammer, yammer. And we seem to have some inkling that Joseph was probably somewhat freaked out being named da baby daddy n all. But what about Mary? I mean, sure, her statues cry blood here and there, she shows up on cave walls or grilled cheese sandwiches from time to time, but what do we really know about Mary as a mom? Not mother of all, virgin idol, but the talk-about-unplanned-pregnancies!, mom.

Maybe she indeed asked What child is this? A lot. Here she is living her life, maybe thinking career first, not even the hint of a bio clock ticking, when WTF?? And did her ankles swell by the third trimester? Did Jesus give her indigestion? Because let me tell you, my little savior is killing me over here. Did people in her preggo yoga classes that talked about what they got at their baby showers piss her off too? People on the street coming up to her, rubbing her belly like a Buddha statue, "Do you know what you're having?" "The son of god. Now back off!"

Naturally, we'll never really know the truth about these kinds of details since men wrote this shit down back then. The questions still plague me, however. A big one is, how was she on body image?

Right now I'm reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. The book is good, but the pictures still freak me out. I try to refrain from the "ewww." reaction as much as possible, but sometimes I fall short. Just one more thing to work on. I show Mike and, ignoring the screaming head stretching through a once much smaller opening, I ask frightened, are my boobs gonna end up looking like that? My poor, helpless husband rubs my back, calls me elegant again. I hope Mary had someone like him.


Anonymous said...

I told you he's the best husband ever, since your father!
This entry is priceless! - Mom

Anonymous said...

Really funny, one of your best yet. And another thing: none of the stories suggest that Mary seemed to mind having to deliver this baby in a barn-like structure surrounded by animals because there were no rooms available. Maybe she left that detail for Joseph to arrange and, well, you know how that can go sometimes.


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