I was invited to a baby shower this past weekend.
Now, as the oldest of 13 grandchildren, I know more about babies than a lot of other 23 year old, childless women. I know the symptoms of a woman about to give birth. (Sometimes) I’m able to predict what gender baby a woman is going to birth just by looking at her, a talent my grandpa had. I’ve waited in hospital waiting rooms quite a few times. (One time I even almost saw my cousin be born… Good GAWD people why didn’t you let me escape sooner?!) I know how to change diapers. I know how to bathe a baby, and I know how to make a bottle. I’m a pro at calming little ones down. I love shopping for babies, and my uterus erupts in sudden joy and baby fever at baby showers. I also have become a pro at unscrambling baby-related words and creating baby shower Bingo boards.
Yet, when it came to this shower, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.
There’s this one aspect of lesbianism I never saw coming– the baby shower conundrum. Baby showers are traditionally attended by the women-folk in the mommy-to-be’s life. When a woman is dating a woman and is invited to a baby shower, oftentimes the mommy-to-be, or those planning the event, excitedly tell the lesbian to invite her girlfriend.
That’s what happened with this baby shower. The mommy-to-be is a friend of V’s, and I was invited by association. I smiled and accepted the invite, but in the days leading up to the shower I found myself thinking about my past.
You see, kind of like a divorce, when two lesbians break up, you don’t really stay in touch with the other woman’s family and close friends, unless there are kids involved, specifically your kids. Nobody ever talks about the other kids involved.
When I was younger, I came to love and care for an ex’s family and friends. I attended baby showers, Christenings, and first birthday parties. I made it into photo albums, and I had fun playing with the little ones. All in all, I celebrated the milestones of three little ones.
Years later, I sometimes find myself missing my ex’s friends and family. I think about how, typically, baby showers, Christenings, and first birthday parties are filled with people whose lives you anticipate intertwining with the baby of honor forever. I think of how special it felt the first time a baby learned my name that wasn’t part of my own family, but my then-gf’s, and a part of me feels sad, wondering what kind of child the baby has grown up to be.
Then I remember that they probably couldn’t even remember who I am now, which is a little sad if you further think about it.
Needless to say, it made me both happy and sad to be invited to V’s friend’s baby shower. I briefly had a moment where I was silently upset about possibly celebrating another life I’d never though, but then the baby fever kicked in and I started wanting a baby again. I also realized that I’m extremely happy with V and I can’t imagine her not being in my life.
Baby showers make me sappy.
I guess the moral of this ramble is baby showers are weird, whether you’re lesbian or not.