Monday, July 20, 2009

Shallow Worries

 pb (B-Day +1) and her dad

At this preparatory stage of motherhood, I have many substantial worries: Will I be able to get pregnant? Will I be sick for nine months straight? Will the baby be healthy? Will I be able to hack childbirth? Will I manage to keep my baby alive once it's born?

All of these epic worries make my shallower worries seem unforgivably petty — so much so that I hesitate to mention them. But, if this blog is going to be useful as a record, I can't hold back.

One of my shallowest worries is that my baby will be . . .  unattractive. Not ugly exactly — but not within my frame of reference for attractive babies.

I should explain — my family are all dark-eyed, dark-haired, and olive-skinned, while my husband is the pastiest of redheads. All of my siblings have been adorable, round-faced, coal-eyed Mediterranean babies born with copious amounts of black hair. I hear that other babies lose their birth hair — none of us did (though mine did recede a bit from my forehead and shoulders).

Whenever I see a chubby, dark-eyed baby, I want to swoop in and kiss it. But I don't have such a thing for blond, blue-eyed babies. They're cute enough, but my brain doesn't seem to register MINE.

I'm sure I'll think that any child of mine is the cutest, sweetest, smartest baby alive, but the possibility of having a child who doesn't display the physical characteristics of my ethnicity is somewhat troubling. I imagine it's part and parcel of my larger guilt over not transmitting my heritage to my kids. I've taken their father's hyper-Anglo last name, I've abandoned my Catholicism, I've moved 100 miles away from my family, etc. I'm going to have to name Snapdragon Giovanni Giuseppe Luigino in order to assuage my guilt.

So maybe not that shallow. Still, in the scheme of things, a petty worry.

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