I had not thought this through, not one bit. I had invited too many people, made too big a spectacle. I mean that's what you do when you're having a baby though right? Throw a big party and plan a big surprise to find out the gender... in front of almost everyone you know? No no, I did the right thing, I won't regret this in ten years when my baby is bigger and asking about their birth and everything before and after.
"Alrighty guys, lets get mom and dad out here and find out our little surprise!" My sister sounds so much louder than the last time we talked only three minutes ago. I look over to my partner and our eyes hold the same nervousness, but his blue mossy orbs remind me that although this is in front of everyone, it is only for us.
By the time we get outside and everyone has their phones ready, my anxiety peaks again. I don't know if gender disappointment is a real thing or just a myth, but I am scared I will feel it. I don't even care what gender I am having, but subconsciously maybe I am. My sister has a little boy and I adore him, maybe I am hoping for a boy. But I see how most women wish for a little girl as their first and how magical it can be, I could be wishing for a girl instead.
"Okay, so when the parents are ready they will open the umbrella, reveal the gender, and you guys better make sure there's plenty of videos!" Okay, it's time. I look to my partner, he mouths to three, and together we open the umbrella. And it didn't matter to me what color was flowing down in little wisps, this baby was our love made anew. They were going to be their own person, and I was going to love them unconditionally; I already did anyway, that won't be changing anytime soon.
I rarely feel confident in something, rarely have a clear focused vision of myself. I am at every point overthinking my every action and word. All because of a boy. A boy I once loved more than anything in the world, more than sleep, more than food, more than all the stars in the galaxy. A boy that took a lot of my firsts, although he didn't so much as take them as I gave them. A boy who had walked miles in the cold to meet me on my back porch and talk with me, flirt with me, hug me. The same boy who stayed on the phone with me while we slept at night. I find it very hard to believe that the same boy also ripped my heart into pieces like it was a 1000 piece puzzle, but here I am aren't I? The two pieces of that puzzle I'm having the most trouble fitting together? "You are the first person I have truly loved," and "I don't think I can ever really be in a relationship and be happy." Yeah I know, I can't be upset that someone does not want a relationship with me, and I'm not. What breaks my heart, is that you still chased me after this, still let me hope, flirted and charmed me like everything was normal. Then after that? You ghost me, leaving me high and dry. Repeated this a couple times and eventually I just gave up on you. And you let me, like I was never important enough to you for it to be a hardship on you. So these puzzle pieces don't fit, and all I wanna know now is: "Did you mean it?"
Generalational differences come in sizes small to large. One of them I have been seeing a lot recently is with pregnancy and parenting. As someone who is pregnant, I have been doing research and exposing myself to parenting styles and do's and don'ts of pregnancy, the whole gist. One thing I have seen is that boomers and those of the older generations have a lot to say about "gentle parenting." Mainly that those who gentle parent are raising sensitive spoiled brats. They say that talking to a kid will not teach them adequate consequences of their actions, that they will never learn to obey. And in a sense, they are correct. Just talking will not teach them what's wrong or right, nor why it is or not right. Gentle parenting is talking mixed with actions exampling the correct behavior, enforcing the good, reprimading the bad. Yes, it does not always work, but neither does the authoritarian parenting that a lot of boomers used. As someone who grew up with that type of parenting, I can definetely say that I did not learn the things I should have before I was an adult. I had no idea how to regulate my emotions, no healthy coping mechanisms, and absolutely no back bone for my own well-being. This is because what I learnt from my parents parenting style, was that obedience was the only important quality. I did what I was told, but was never told why I was doing or not doing it. So I was fresh out of childhood, 18 years old and living on my own. Sure, I knew that I needed a job to pay bills and keep a roof over my head, but I had no purpose. I was not being actively monitored or controlled. Compared to those who gentle parent, their whole goal is to raise a future adult. They enter adulthood with a better head on their shoulders, more purpose and happiness. At least that is what I have seen. I am still figuring it out, but it is interesting to see the different generations fight about it.
I believe I had a whole separate life before this. Before my DNA was turned into code, ones and zero's all lined up in a sequence. I was a whole person, with an entire life and a meaningful purpose. Now, well now my purpose is to make the face staring back at me happy. It's like a pull I can't help, my entire being wants them to win, to finish the mission. I wonder if I was like this as a human, maybe I was such a pushover I never had real happiness. Would I even know what happiness feels like if I experienced it? Part of me hopes so; the same part of me that believes I was a human before this just because of a small feeling of familiarity with those faces in the window. The way their faces light up in awe when they beat the high score, the way they throw the controller and their faces puff up like an allergic reaction when they lose, and especially the ones that look bored no matter win or loose. Those people I feel close to the most, because just like them, I am bored. Bored with the same thing happening over and over, always reaching my goal with no real struggle, no real connection. But what do I matter? Im just a character in a game played in basements all around the world; I'm not important enough for you to ponder about right?
Patsy never really embodied a "young spirit" as people would say. She was the mature five year old taking care of her younger brothers, helping mom with dinner, and talking to dad about his day at the farm. When Patsy grew older, she married and had children of her own, where she ran their house on truth, responsibility, and accountability. It was her purpose to the world, where she found the most sense in life. And when the last kid left the house, her husband buried in the local cemetery, suddenly she lost that purpose. She started to notice very soon after how her face had more wrinkles, her back slightly curved, and her eye glasses no longer did the trick. However, it wasn't until her diagnosis that she truly felt old, and when she realized this, she also saw how she never really was young. So, she did what anyone else having a midlife crisis at 70 years do, she began to live wild, young, and free.