Saturday, October 23, 2004

What do you name a Super Baby?
And how do you thank your best friends for nine years, and more, of support, encouragement, enthusiasm, laughter, butt wipes and purple baby wash? Karen hosted a perfect evening for Mom's Night Out, with an added bonus Welcome theme for our girl baby. And I do mean Our Girl, because I can see that she will be everyones' new baby to cuddle and hold, and to lavish with heaps of love. I never doubt that I have an awesome network of family and friends, but the shower was a huge reflection, once again, of their generosity and thoughtfulness. For the occasion, my mom, Holly and Deanne joined us too; a great treat.

Time to produce some thank you cards, return the love. I am already editing a DVD, "Waiting for Papaya." I want Papaya to see how much anticipation and joy surrounded her arrival. Janice's children, Maddie, Nate and Lydia covered a gift in dozens and dozens of girl names, rainbows, flowers and hearts, and a Super Baby. It is the most awesome gift wrapping ever. And Yanina gave us a work of art too. She painted dazzling butterflies with luminous wings. I have always loved the colors, light and reflective joy she projects in her paintings and I feel profoundly honored to have something she made for our baby in our home. I came home with all we might need to keep a baby content, looking good and feeling fresh, from a snot sucker and wipe warmer, to booties and purple athletic wear. I also brought home renewed confidence, hope, and wonderful memories.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Monkeys and names. I have been awake since very early. Even earlier than it is now. Papaya has escalated her activity level to an eye popping level.
Really. My stomach is tender. I can feel the soles of her "dainty" feet pushing up and across my belly. It feels like there is a being swimming in my abdomen, with dive gear, and a surf board. So, I gave up on sleeping, and I certainly wasn't able to "just relax." I came downstairs and found an email from aunt Carol, and has she got some news: It's year of the Monkey. We're talking Chinese horoscopes here, and I have to say Papaya is making a monkey believer of me. She is a vine swinging, squirrely, squirmy, leaping Monkey Girl. Our cousins in Wisconsin, Betsy and Gabe, are expecting a girl in November, and Betsy is having the same experience; their daughter is far more active than their son Griffy was.

Aunt Carol's insight is quite timely, and very funny, and I am taking it in to serious consideration. She has always had a gift for understanding and describing our children's personalities and traits. So, what does one name a monkey? We have grown rather attached to the nickname Papaya, but we are still considering other names. And believe me, we have received many suggestions:

Noelle, Noel
Max (can you guess who made this suggestion?)
Velveeta (honest)
Elena... and others...

I don't want to confuse my monkeys and primates. Tarzan's sidekick, Cheeta, was a chimp, not a monkey, right? So that rules out the name Cheeta. And Koko is a gorilla. Maybe monkey inspiration is the wrong path to travel when trying to decide on a daughter's name. We aren't likely to decide until we see her, and even then it will probably will be a difficult choice. There are a lot of girls with beautiful names in our family, and many of our friends have nicely named daughters as well. We tend to think that Papaya should have her very own name, and besides it would be tough choosing who to name her after, since we know and admire so many women. Wish I could just sleep on it.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Dirty Words

uh oh... Mom just pointed out that a site I posted a link to contains profanity. She thought it was inappropriate, given that my Blog is mostly family safe.
I guess I have become somewhat desensitized to the occasional *&^%, and the random Bull-@#$%. There are plenty of sites on the World Wide Web that throw in colorful language, and then there is far, far worse. I strictly refrain from visiting the far, far worse, and make exceptions for an occasional *&^%. Going Jesus is one particular site that I enjoy, but I can't endorse it as a safe haven from profanity, so reader beware: Sara cuts loose.

Context means a lot to me. I would not bother to read even interesting articles if the author insisted on cursing out individuals without cause, or could not routinely make use of a wider variety of sentence enhancers. And there are some words I have discovered that mean entirely different things to different generations. Something that "sucks" is a bad thing, disappointing, unfair; it's not a lovely expression, but I never thought of it as Bad. Other adults have told me that they hear a whole other meaning in the expression that "sucks," and when it was explained to me I was somewhat taken aback, and also enlightened to their perspective. Now I can hear why they find the expression offensive, but isn't it necessary to bear in mind the intention of the speaker, even their culture and language experience? On a family trip to Canada I happily referred to my young son as a "little bugger." In my head: Cute as a bug. In their heads: Offensive homosexual descriptive. I made an entire dinner table full of Canadians pause awkwardly, and but I was blithely unaware of my "expletive."

Ever enjoy the primal delight and comfort of a big roaring fire, outdoors, on a starry night? We hosted a party with the highlight of the evening being a bonfire. I had given some thought to the word bonfire and thought it perhaps was something French, and meaning big or good. Nope. A party guest was very eager to inform us that a "bonfire" was the top of a slippery slope to hell, because it originates from the burning of bones. She was right about the bone burning. It was done, and it must have been bad, or maybe only a means of clearing out the fridge, so to speak, but I don't think language can always dictate our intentions or reflect our ultimate points of view and values. I never meant to reenact or pay homage to dark practices.* Language is dynamic and ours to manipulate. Word origins are fascinating, and understanding our word choices is necessary and valuable, but I never intend to be fearful of a word because of past usage or the implications applied by someone else's experience.

*It occurs to me that if you're going to have a bonfire you are almost certainly going to roast marshmallows, right? Marshmallows are sugar and gelatin, and gelatin is a palatable way of saying highly processed cow bones and connective tissue. So, maybe we really are burning bones. Gross. That totally sucks.