Full of Hope (and Glorious Carbs)

January 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm 8 comments

Yesterday at work, the powers that be decided to acknowledge the fact that everyone was watching the inauguration festivities at their desks and totally blowing off work anyway, and had a pizza lunch for us in the large conference room, with all three large-screens broadcasting the official swearing-in.

pizzaI like to joke that my pathetic pregnant self was more excited about the pizza than the inauguration, but I was seriously more excited about the pizza than the inauguration.

(KIDDING.)

(I don’t really even like to JOKE about how glad I was to get Obama up in that bitch.)

(But I was totally excited about the pizza too. Trust.)

Given my recent tendency for bursting out in tears, I had to put sufficient effort into holding back the waterworks at several points during the hour that I watched the proceedings with my coworkers. At one point I decided that I was just going to let myself cry (when else but when I am 7-months pregnant can I get away with workplace weeping?), but then I realized that the only napkins nearby were soaked with pizza grease, and I really didn’t need to add “face covered in pepperoni run-off” to my personal appearance yesterday.

pregnancy-pantsI was already operating on “Pants Held Together with a Rubber Band” couture.

Batshit-crazy hormones aside, yesterday’s inauguration was one of the most moving events in our country I’ve ever been lucky enough to witness. Bush was our president for almost all of my adult, post-college (read: sober and giving a shit) life, and I guess I just got used to watching the country get fucked up and over by a guy whose sole purpose seemed to be providing fodder for comedians across the globe. I never really realized how disillusioned I was with the government until this past election, when there was an palpable feeling of change – change that would last beyond the campaign and translate into actual improvements instead of dissolving into politics as usual. I realize that this is only Day One of Obama’s presidency, but there’s something different here. Something better. Something real.

inaugural-crowdAnd I think these 2 million people would agree.

I had my hand on my belly when Obama was taking his oath, because Spats was going buck wild in there. I know it was most likely post-pizza euphoria (inherited from her mother), but it meant so much to feel her kicks and flutters at that moment. 2008 was the first time my presidential vote was for two instead of one, and I imagined that the pokes and prods she was giving me maybe included a high-five or two. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to understand how much I cared about this election, and how absolutely, incredibly, mind-blowingly amazing it is that she will never know an America without a black President.

I was sitting across the table from a coworker yesterday who has made some…regrettable comments to me in the past about people of different races.  I don’t know what makes me want to sock her in the face more: her actual ignorant-ass comments, or the fact that she somehow thought I’d be totally cool with listening to her ignorant-ass comments. And because we work together, it was hard to come back with a “How about shutting the fuck up, asswipe?” whenever she’d say those things, because I wanted to avoid the months and months of HR-facilitated discussions and horrendous office gossip that would inevitably follow. And I know that my fleeting moment of telling her where she could stick it (however satisfying it would be) wouldn’t make any difference in her opinions in the long run. But of course, these are excuses. I know it was wrong to let her comments slide and just quickly change the subject. Because when I think about explaining how I handled (or didn’t handle) the situation to Spats, I’m really, really ashamed.

do-re-miWhich will bring us back to Spats, Spats, Spats, Spats…

It’s no secret that the nine (long-ass, interminable) months of pregnancy give you a lot (A LOT) of time to think – about the trillions of things that could go wrong, about how your life is changing, about how HOLY SHIT, where the hell did my waist go? And one of the thinks I think/obsess about is what Spats will be like when she’s older. Not graduated-from-college older, but just old enough to start making her own decisions and making her own friends and rolling her eyes at her lame-ass mother.

teenagerHer teen years, is what I guess I am trying to say. And if you don’t hang up that phone right now, young lady, it’s no Hover-Car for a week!

(We’ll have Hover-Cars by then, right?)

I sometimes get all hand-wringy and anxious about the first time my precious, darling baby sneaks out of the house, or tries pot, or hurls an “I hate you!” at me when I don’t let her get her way. And I know that being a parent means experiencing loads of little disappointments: she might absolutely hate theatre, or detest being around animals, or refuse to be a Steelers fan (HOW DARE SHE?!). But yesterday I realized that the only way she could really, truly disappoint me wouldn’t be by failing a class or lying about how that scratch on the car got there – it would be hearing her make comments like my coworker did, and knowing that all the hope and compassion I saw in the eyes and faces of everyone at that inauguration yesterday…

george-w-bushOK, well, not EVERYONE…

…was – despite our best efforts – completely lost on her.

Wow. So. THAT was pretty dark, huh? I know this is one of my more extreme pregnancy fears, but it’s a big one. And I know I just have to trust that raising her “right” will erase any possibility of her becoming one of those close-minded idiots. And trust – like hope – can sometimes be scary, or fragile, or fleeting.

barack-hopeBut sometimes? It can change the world.

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Entry filed under: Thanksgiving.

The Ordinary and the Extraordinary In Which I Pretend I’m Being Interviewed by Barbara Walters

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kristin  |  January 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Pizza, a new president, AND a pregnancy. Life is good.

    This comment brought to you by the letter “p.”

    Reply
  • 2. HoST  |  January 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    With a mother like you, there is no way Spats could ever grow up to feel anything but compassion for everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

    People can argue nature vs. nurture all they want, but the only way to grow up ignorant is to be raised that way.

    We’ll be OK, and Spats will be a loving, caring person.

    And she WILL be a Steelers fan. Don’t even joke about that.

    Reply
  • 3. The Constant C  |  January 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Mmm, pizza. Mmm, Obama.

    Reply
  • 4. hillary  |  January 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Kids are assholes when they are raised by assholes.
    And then they grow up to be asshole adults who procreate and raise asshole children. It’s a vicious cycle.
    I think the lesson to be learned is this: don’t be an asshole and Spats won’t be an asshole.
    ps: that pizza looks gooooood

    Reply
  • 5. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  January 21, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Ditto what everybody else said. It is not easy – I’ve had to call my son’s friends out – in front of my son – for using the word “faggot” and I was truly worried about embarassing him, but it’s worth it. He now does the speaking up for hisownself.

    Reply
  • 6. Sara  |  January 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I was in a whole room of potential jurors watching the inauguration, and it was hard to hold back the tears. So I didn’t. What an amazing thing to witness. High fives to you and Spats! Speaking of Spats, raise her left, please.

    Reply
  • 7. MLE  |  January 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I was going to comment, but HoST wrote everything I was going to write. Except I probably wouldn’t have put in the bit about the Steelers, because I’m just not that sports-aware.

    The fact that you are actively thinking about this puts you waaaaay ahead of most people. I bet the majority of parents never even think about raising their kids to be good people.

    Reply
  • 8. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  January 26, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Aaaaaaaand I’m crying. But good crying. You’re gonna be a great Mom.

    Reply

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