I’m not the most sentimental person. I hate surprises, get more embarrassed than touched by ridiculous exhibitions of emotion and have started seeing Kahlil Gibran’s writings as being a tad gayer than anything Abu Nuwas can come up with. Yesterday afternoon, though, I was got. I saw a child giving his mother a hug and I literally wept. By the time I was done weeping, luckily, unnoticed (babi was watching “An American Carol”, a movie that feels like a personal attack on Michael Moore instead of what Moore stood for, and Blen was out and about with her girlfriends) I decided that must be what people see in kids.
Thus far, the conscious or sub-conscious need for pro-creation has remained a strictly masculine affair to me. Ever since I saw a colleague of mine walk around in a dazed and embarrassed fascination after visiting his new-born son at the hospital (from a girlfriend he was avoiding ever since she told him his sperm has fertilized her egg), I have realized there was more to children to guys than “their little fellers doing their job”. I’ve noticed nature or testosterone maybe involved. That it was something which can neither be helped nor explained. (So you won’t see me neither surprised nor shaking the head with those saying “ayy wond, dirom wond ya’amene..” when my mother talks about that ‘barren’ colleague of hers who fainted at the sight of ‘Abaaye’-screaming kids on her loving and ‘faithful’ husband’s funeral).
Women, I’ve felt, who want kids want them for the same reason they want to get married (or as part and parcel of it): Out of ignorance, self esteem problem or the need for validation; pressure, boredom or fear [“I’ll regret it later”.. “he will leave me if don’t”]. There is more to having kids than putting a “tseGur g’eyit” on a daughter’s neatly tied ponytail, I’ve argued, or making “a little gentleman” out of your son by putting butterfly “keRebaat” on his neck. There is: nine months of carrying a heavy load that weighs you physically and emotionally down, your chemicals going crazy, morning sickness and loss of appetite, stretch marks and giving birth; breast feeding, washing, dressing, and taking constant care of and sacrificing everything you have for a self-centered creature who won’t think twice before violently jerking you out of a much needed sleep by screaming the roof down. Not to mention everything that can go wrong before and after!.
“And for what?!”, I’ve asked self-righteously, with none of the responses proving satisfying.
Yesterday, however, when a kid’s affectionate embrace (the way he looked at his mother with his hand on her shoulder while she’s instructing what he is and not to do when she’s at work, when he runs after her car talking talking talking and proudly reads her a poem which she has to put off work to listen) on the movie Bogus squeezed tears out of the abesheet soul, I thought I saw a silver lining to the gloomy affair of child-bearing and rearing. That perhaps there were moments in the mother/child relationship that made all the suffering worthwhile, atleast bearable. And there may be a mother in me after all.
Is that the correct diagnosis? Or is Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) simply a really good child-actor?