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Baby Time

I’ve only attended two baby showers in my entire life.  In my circle of friends we are a curiously childless lot.  Only Steve Gould and Laura Mixon, and Daniel and Kat Abraham have children.  All the rest of us skipped that mile post in a life.  Most of us married, but few of us bred.

Seeing the tiny shoes, and colorful socks, and a snuggy that will make the baby look like a tiny polar bear I could see the attraction of holding and guiding that tiny life.  It’s so strange to look at Berkley with her pregnancy enlarged body, and realize that in just a few weeks there will be a new person joining the 7 billion already on the planet.

There was also something rather tribal and evolutionary about the moment.  It was a room filled with women.  Most of my closest friends are male.  I have worked in predominately male dominated professions so this was strange for me.  I had this sudden image of women gathered around a campfire 10,000 years ago bringing useful items to the soon-to-be mother.

Perhaps it was because my father raised me as his second son, and because I never wanted or had children, I felt removed from the circle.  I felt like I needed to be circling the perimeter guarding, making certain everyone was safe.

I also found myself thinking about customs and rituals in a new paradigm.  What does a baby shower look like for a male gay couple?  

Do men fall prey to “baby lust” in the same way women do?  Is it a different emotional reaction that drives them?  I had a brief moment of “baby lust” in my late thirties, but I had a horse breeder’s interest.  What would the child look like?  Would it have musical ability?  Like horses?  Love to read?  I also had this brief desire to leave a mark on the world, to not go down into darkness without leaving a part of myself behind.  Then I realized that I have written books, and a couple of television episodes that probably do represent a legacy, and I was content.

2 Responses to Baby Time

  • So nice to see a discussion of this sort of thing in the open. I struggle a lot with the baby question, especially the “wanting to leave something behind” part. Is my writing and art enough? There’s such a pressure on women to procreate, especially here in the Midwest where I’m practically an old maid for being 25 and childless. When I go out with my partner and his daughter, everyone assumes his child is mine and they refer to me as “your Mommy” when they talk to her. She’s only four, and she knows I’m not her mother. To her, I’m just her best friend, which is enough for all of us right now, but never seems enough to anyone else. Some of the looks I’ve gotten when I correct people who think I’m her mother are… uncomfortable. It’s great to hear that you’re happy with your decision, and that there are social circles where it isn’t crazy to not have children. I wish you all the best!

  • S.C. Butler says:

    I can’t speak for all men, but baby lust for me was pretty much an expression of love. Wanting to have a family I could love as much my family loved me.

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