Well d-uh, I’m having a girl. But I hadn’t allowed myself to think too much about celebrating the fact. (Well for one thing she’s still in there and it ain’t over til the fat lady pushes her out… Or really, has her abdomen cut open in major surgery where if the last time was anything to go by her gynea will cheerily call out, “Hey so I could close you up now, but can I just look over your ovaries first since I’m already in there anyway?”) Hence my first post when I’m 6 months along. It has to do with a certain mindset or “discipline” I hope to have – it’s called Never Get So Deliriously Happy So Early You Cannot Recover From Something Terrible Happening. And Even Then…..
<various superstitious gestures to ward off evil>
Ok, not really. What I usually do is bind my fears in the name of the Lord, something I was taught to do as a very young Christian, back when I had far more childhood experiences/ tales of the non-Christian supernatural, by way of Orang Asli and bomoh stories (dad spent a decade in the jungles near Sandakan, while also trekking into jungles in Indonesia and the Philippines, he would wake at dawn and do gym training several months before each trip, and used to pack a company-issued revolver – in fact half my old bedroom is now his gym) and family spirits and mediums going in a trance in temples. (Nowadays I try to have honest and at times neurotic conversations with the Lord, about my fears.)
Someday I’ll finish up that post about how I reconciled the non-Christian supernatural I witnessed all through my growing years with my new faith. It might not be what you might expect; some of the people I love most in the world are not Christian, and passed away without accepting Jesus. Yet if I never feel what I felt in a random church visit that day for the rest of my life, I will still know there is a God…
But back to current Flash Of The Blindingly Obvious.
I’ve been Whatsapp-ing a lot more than usual, because we recently discovered group chats have a way of seriously prolonging yakkity mum conversations for the fun and entertainment of all. And then a girlfriend who has both a boy and a girl mentioned how she was digging around for all her little diamonds from her wedding etc to put together a necklace for her 3 year old daughter someday.
And that’s when I dug this up.
There are all these little diamonds and pendants and things I got from my parents and relatives over the years, and it never occurred to me before that I would have a child who might have a good time playing dress-up with them one day. How could I? Case in point: I’m looking at the ear studs above (made from tiny, very white diamonds) and thinking How cute, if worn by a little girl someday, and Rockstar comes in and observes me disinterestedly.
“They’re for the baby someday, dear. Wouldn’t they look cute when she’s old enough to get her ears pierced?” A glimmer of interest from the Rockstar. Possible Yuck Alert. Piercing sounds gross, and motions to do with pierced ears thereby reinforce his hypothesis, “Girls Are Yucky.” Arrived at “Because they bring yucky, boring things to Show n Tell.“ Then just like that, it’s gone. He turns back to his Lego cars. “I don’t even want to remember what they bring. Dolls… Tsk!”
(It just so happens Rockstar is on other end of the scale – he has never had a thing for a single soft toy, blanket, whatever, and the closest he comes to “sentimentalism” or “security blankets” is to slip a little toy car or rock in his pocket before we go out. And it can be pretty much any car or rock. My uncle once described him as “all ‘boy,’” in the manner of slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails. W-ell, he got the “male double-standards” thing down pat – obviously it doesn’t occur to him anyone views the Lego cars and things his friends bring for Show n Tell the way he views dolls…)
“Silly girls with their frilly dresses and earrings?”
<not looking up> “Yup.”
“No interest in my earrings?” He doesn’t even bother to answer. The Rockstar simply raises his eyebrows at the dumb-ness of my question, without looking up. We expect more from you, Mu-um. <reproachful>
All I thought of before was how after my own Mean Girls-type experiences growing up, I was afraid to raise a girl in the world today, what with Facebook and Youtube and so many more opportunities for bullying. And boyfriend trouble……
(This was during a certain international school’s Youtube scandal – 16 (I think) year old girl strips for boyfriend on webcam, unaware he tapes her. They break up, he posts it on Youtube, in the ensuing police reporting and witch hunting to vaporize any would-be watchers on campus with cellphones (and yes they found a few they suspended) they also encountered various recreational drugs.)
…..How little girls (as a very general stereotype) are more sensitive, and therefore more susceptible to mean things said about them….. (Personally I much prefer the old kicks and punches way of sorting out differences – physical bruises heal, the emotional ones…….. might not heal without leaving some hangup that rears its ugly head decades later when you’re an adult with a laptop and the epiphany that being called the Butt-less/ Flattest-Chested/ Whatever Girl makes you forever wary of convents and nuns and the pretty little girls with the long curls and bows who skip in tandem at Playtown and only allow similarly pretty kids to play with them.)
(Why wasn’t I born a boy? I would’ve made such a great boy, I would’ve remembered birthdays, gotten thoughtful, sentimental presents and cards, and known instinctively the correct answer is always Not Fat. When in doubt buy smaller not bigger size (and discreetly include gift exchange receipt to facilitate returns). See? Girls would’ve loved me more, growing up, if I were a boy. And always guess younger, not older. <pause> I wonder if Rockstar will appreciate dating help someday? Bet we’d always get the girl. I love helping guys chase girls. It’s like, so easy. And slightly voyeuristic, watching someone else drop cash… <blissful reminiscence>)
Anyway. Looking at those earrings my mum bought me many, many years ago suddenly brought home that I was going to have someone to give them to. Not to mention Rockstar’s just reinforced it shouldn’t be him. I have a pair of very old jade and diamond studs that my beloved maternal grandma used to wear every day too. No takers from the Rockstar? Going once, going twice…. His role, according to him, is to “protect the baby from getting pushed on the playground.” Even if she must have ridiculous things done to her earlobes someday, I suppose he means.
But don’t get me wrong. I know a guy whose mum used to regularly shop at Flower Diamond (kind of like Tiffany’s, but Singapore version) and while most of it is going to her daughter, his wife-to-be gets to pick one exquisite piece of jewelry. Rockstar might not be quite there yet, but I think my daughter-in-law might umm, prefer cash. The hunt can often be more fun than the having to accept a mother-in-law’s taste in jewelry. I don’t know why people think gift certificates are a bad idea. You are giving the gift of the shopping experience. (Ok, except maybe if it’s Park n Shop.)
My daughter on the other hand…. I don’t think my grandma’s old fashioned jade and diamond earrings suit my current style, and have only worn them very rarely, but oh how I loved her so. She was the one who accepted me without caring if I was a top student or what-not. (Just so long as I wasn’t in jail or with the army or movie industry. She got upset my cousin served in the British army in a job that could actually get him killed. Didn’t help that he actually got shot, though he did get a medal for it. And she doesn’t like the idea of having to kiss someone you don’t love i.e. if you had to act, as a career choice.)
And those earrings were her favorites, she wore them every day. I never rationalize re-setting them into something modern.
My daughter. I have someone growing in my belly now who might someday know how I feel, why I feel. (Of course you don’t have to grow your own, it’s just that I’m an only child and don’t have any proximity to any other little girls, so……..)
So I’m growing a girlfriend. Someone to give my earrings to.