Summary: a short list of what's going on now, followed by musings on eye colours and what it means to be family. Lots of mentions of children and pregnancy.

***Appointment update** - went well. Boring. Fine. Hurrah! ***

News in brief:

  • I am almost finished unpacking the house again. Just over a week to unpack a house after a move is some kind of record. I may even get around to doing up a hospital bag before labour begins.
  • I have my thirty-eight week OB appointment later today. I'll let you know.
  • Everything is rapidly going moldy and mildewy in the post-flood heat and humidity. Everyone here is battling it. The Prata Baby's mattress and the one from the bassinet have both fallen victim, amongst other things. Every time I turn around there is more growing on the walls or ceiling. Incredible. Insane. Inconvenient. I am just flat out keeping up with myself at the moment and my to-do list keeps on growing.

The Prata Baby and I were chatting at the supermarket yesterday, and for some reason we got onto the subject of eye colour. I asked what colour eyes he thought the new baby would have, and he said blue, like him. I agreed that this was possible, and then mused that they could be a different colour, too - perhaps brown, like Dad's? Or Hazel? The Prata Baby affirmed his guess of blue, and went on to opine that the new baby's Dad would have green eyes. I stopped and peered at him. "The new baby's Dad is your Dad," I explained carefully. "You'll have the same Dad."

Whoa. Whoa. Obviously this hadn't occurred to him. There was a moment of stunned silence, followed by a rather longer period of thoughtful fingernail-picking. Then PB tentatively asked about the new baby's Mum and I had to break it to him that he'd be sharing one of those, too. Blue, brown, hazel or green - he was prepared to accept the outcome. But the realisation that someone else would have the same Mum and Dad as him? It, like, totally blew his mind.

I used to think I'd be sensitive to conversations about where my children got what genetic traits from. Apart from a sort of general squeamishness on behalf of those who wouldn't be passing on their genes, I wasn't sure if a hypothetical Next Child would be genetically related to the same extent as the first. I remember having a complete change of perspective the first time The Prata Baby met my Grandmother. To my grandmother, idle chit-chat over eye colour is for amateurs. Even before she and PB met, she had dug out a pile of family photos showing infants around the same age, and was keen to lay them on the table and hold them up one by one, analysing everything from general build to subtle facial expressions. And that's not counting all the other information she'd collected about our family history, no matter how old or peripherally-relevant.

All of a sudden I knew she would do the same no matter where the child had come from. Whether we'd conceived with the help of donors or adopted from The Philippines, she'd be there with pictures and books and magazines, retelling and guessing and predicting and - above all - looking for commonalities between the child and ourselves. She has a very loose definition of family, my Grandmother. To her, it's not so much about blood ties as about showing up and joining in. To her, discussions of this type are about finding connections, rather than separating "us" from "them".

Perhaps I would feel different if our family had been built differently after all, but since then I'm not sensitive about discussing the baby's eye colour. Even the Prata Baby knows it doesn't really matter who shares that.


Jess said...

I find that no matter how you come into a family, adoption or birth, or even marriage, you always look for similarities. Really, in any relationship, even just friendships and such, you search out commonalities.

PB will get used to sharing his Mom and Dad. It'll be great in the end! :)

Rachel Inbar said...

I agree with Jess - people are always looking for similarities.

It never occurred to me that a child might not understand that a new baby would share his parents. I don't know if my experiences were the standard, but my kids always loved having new babies around. Babies bring a lot of excitement with them (and usually some new, fun toys too).

And wow, 38 weeks!

Lut C. said...

Linnea doesn't understand family structures either.
One stuffed animal will tell the other: "hey brother, you're my daddy". ?!

My Reality said...

I am glad the appointment well. Hope you get everything settled in the house before you go into labour.

I hope PB's transition with sharing his parents goes OK.

Jess is right, people look for similarities all the time in families. I am always told I look just like my mother. Who adopted me. And I look nothing like. But people see what they want to.

Vee said...

Yes we always get the " he looks so much like...." People do always look for similarities, even between Dog and owner, aren't they meant to look alike? ;-)

Glad the appointment went well.

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