Think back to when you were pregnant (and chose to carry) – or your partner was pregnant – or anyone you loved was pregnant – or when you saw a pregnant person. What did you imagine about that teensy tinesy growing bit of life inside there? Did you wonder about what they would look like? Did you worry about the birthing process? Did you plan on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, elimination training, or some combinations? Did you mentally calculate how old you might be when that baby might begin walking, talking, going to (or graduating from) school? Did you imagine how much love and connection was about to be unleashed into the world, as it has perpetually been since the beginning of humaning? If you were not the pregnant person, did you feel deep slices of pain at not being pregnant and having the moments of questions and wonders for yourself? I have been able to carry one successful pregnancy which took me years of loss, work, money, and dumb luck. My soul feels the raw grief of no pregnancy too. I still find it difficult to be around pregnant people, unless I already know them very well (which is a limited circle).
Truth be told, being pregnant is surreal. You know that a human is forming inside of and being completely sustained and nourished by your body and the unique placenta organ you are growing. You can feel the changes as your body temporarily morphs into more than itself while sustaining the growth of another body. You feel swishy pushy movements – sometimes in fluttery awe, sometimes kick squiggle uncomfortably. Your other organs get squeezed out of the way making breathing and digesting a challenge. It’s an amazing wonder what fully functioning biologically human female reproductive systems accomplish with a little dose of male generated support. This is the entire experience of the entirety of humans since and until the foreverness of humaning humans. Without those successful pregnancies, we lose everything – no economy, no future, no innovation, no humans. It is counterintuitive that the encompassing entire processes aren’t venerated, protected, supported, and valued more as a community, culture, society, species. I’m not talking about wacky pro-lifer style or mega-watt baby-momma industries. I am really talking about developmentally, mental and physical health, appropriately valued.
Little tiny nuggets of DNA mush grow into bigger squishy mush. Then transition into kidney bean shaped lumps where they begin to grow some stuff of future humans, then become a fetus and eventually *fingers crossed* a successful live birthed baby. Of course this all depends on an extreme amount of luck and biology.
There is a squeezy cheeked little baby transitioned earthside! The baby learns how to process basic necessities – breathing outside the womb, more freedom of movement, how to obtain nutrition, what feels safe and comfortable, muscle control, walking, talking, navigating relationships, and other things of the humans.
Then we release our tiny puffin headed muffin babies out into the world. Some at birth, some at 4-6 weeks, some at 4-6 years, some at High School, University, or adult times, or somewhere in between there. At some point, if all goes well, and they are not shot dead at school, dying trying to flee fascist/abusive assholes, or impaired/killed by a rampant virus which could have been prevented by prudent ethical adult actions, they are released for their unique experiences with others.
What are we doing to cultivate healthy contributing humans? The food/health care/housing/safety/education/resource scarce people are on my mind – and I’m sure yours as well.
Why do we hold such cultural disdain for the humans involved in gestation/birth/child rearing but hold them up on a crazy pedestal when we want to push some patriarchal fascist bending agenda? Protect the sweet babies from being separated from their parents, unless they aren’t the white kind of worthy. Protect the women and children from all of the scary things, unless they too aren’t the white kind of worthy, then whatevs.
Nevermind that we enable/wage/witness war with direct mental and physical health effects on displaced families. Nevermind that we deny access to healthcare based on a person’s access to wealth. Nevermind that we deny quality education environments (including food/outdoor time) to developing humans. Nevermind that we fail to recognize domestic violence and child abuse as the cultural-normative things they are, and address them as such with practical, appropriate, and honest approaches. Nevermind that we expect/support/respect little to no parental/newborn bonding and birth recovery when we absolutely KNOW how this affects both the person doing the act of growing and birthing the new human, as well as the new human – both physically and mentally.
Bringing human life into the world and providing developmentally appropriate physical and mental support to grow that human into a functioning member of society is THE most important role for those adults who chose to do this. And it should ALWAYS be a choice an adult person has full agency over making for their life, their body. How else are you going to exist if no functioning humans are birthed and raised up, at the very minimum, satisfactorily? All of us have a stake in supporting healthy and safe human growth and development. Life is a fucking miracle – literally and figuratively.
Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is healthy and supported by her partner and professionals in the manner she has chosen to bring forth her birthing experience with access to high quality healthcare. Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is frightened about her own health and safety, without partner support, in a manner she did not choose and no access to healthcare due to circumstances far beyond her control. Why aren’t we more reverent and careful with life?
ANYWHO – my point is that SonHerisme is registered for High School, which is a huge step towards release. He is outgrowing his little Montessorian nest, on his way to outgrowing the cozy sweet momma nest I’ve made for him. Friends’ sons are registering for Selective Service (get your shit together, humans). I am most likely going to pack away the remaining children’s books on my shelves and remove the “Princess Room” sign from my office door (former bedroom for back-in-the-day visiting NiecesHerime who placed the sign but are much too cool for that now). My other observation is that I will be masking forever since not only is SonHerisme ill aFREAKINgain, but the woman at the pharmacy checked my ID and had me remove my mask to verify that I am old enough to purchase cold and flu medicine. WHAT WHAT (ignores the reality of my tiny newborn boy-teen-man hawkey bat superhero wild turkey puffin muffin head bear is approaching the final trial flight years before adulting times).
I am pained for humans in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Palestine, Eritrea, and all of the places where our collective humanity is failing basic humane consideration (including the U.S.). Which I suppose is the human experience but sweatergot y’all it is A LOT and I believe we can tone it the fuck down. Today this pain translates into these…
...notes to my own self: See and humanely speak truths for what they are Donate to a local school (time, money, supplies) Write a "thank you" note to a school staff person - they are the backbone of your entire community and they are wiped out from vitriol, overextension, and misplaced expectations Pay more attention to your BOE vote (in this country) as well as your Representatives Do more to encourage cold turkey-ing our dependence on burning dead dinosaurs
If I could intertwine our beautiful mismatched fingers, hold your soft hand and gently walk with you, I would do it forever and always. As a compromise to this, my most and best and specialist favoritist person from the beginning of time to the end of time, I have made sure that you always get to carry a comforting centering piece of me in your sweet, gentle, kind, hilarious, creative, intelligent, and loving heart. This is a wish carried by parents from forever until forever. When I look at the humans from all over, I wonder how their hatch and release people are being loved by them as well. We surely do not intend for these miracles of life to do irrevocable harm unto others.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
I’m all over the place with the everythings of the happenings. We all are.
Is there a time coming when we can stop pretending there should be public sphere room for, or pretend that they aren’t who they present as, and openly honestly acknowledge that there will always be, groups of extreme people who are incapable of sustaining humanity (abusers, murderers, fascists, misogynists, racists etc), and attempt to cease allowing them to dominate the direction of humanity, or maybe at least our communities? That would be great. koyc (kiss on your cheek, COVID neg natch) thanks
I’ll be on the back deck, with my cup of tea, watching the cardinals and mourning doves chitter chatter in their Winter goodbyes and Spring Preparations. You’re welcome to join me as I ground myself into reality as much as possible. Fair warning – it is muddy out there, so boots are recommended. So is popcorn. Very very extremely dark chocolate plus amusing anecdotes are also most welcome. And sparklers. Well, now it sounds like a little party. An intimate deck party to bring a moment of joy into the swirl of humaning chaos. Okay – sys