Monday, June 29, 2009

first baby firsts

Our village friends are having a baby in three weeks or so. Since we've been here I've spent time getting to know the young woman and her boyfriend is a good friend of J's. They live with his family in a small concrete house with many other family members and assorted animals. The woman is very shy, she speaks spanish much better than english but her english is also pretty good. Occasionally she has babysat M and she taught me how to make the best tortillas in the world and I've brought her baby clothes and special chocolates from the States. She's never gone to school beyond age 13 but she's smart as a whip and can cook me under the table any day of the week.

She's quiet and beautiful, she's scared and she's brave, she's resigned and she's looking forward. There are no baby classes here, nothing about breathing or labor or what to expect when you are expecting. There is just day in and day out, one step at a time, doing the best you can. So we've spent some time talking about how babies change everything and how mamas need to find ways to care for themselves because soon it will be all about the baby and to be honest when you live here like she does it's never been about her anyways, every day is already a struggle and a baby will just mean more.

As we were talking one day J overheard us and spontaneously said you should get a massage before the baby is born and she looked at him and at me I've never had a massage before so I asked her if she'd like to try it, a way to reduce some of the aches and pains the last month of baby brings and she nodded her head.

So I called a friend of mine here, a wise old beautiful crone masseuse and we agreed on the day and time and I picked my friend up and drove her 20 minutes over bouncing dirt roads to our destination. As we drove I asked her if she knew what happened during a massage and she shook her head no so I asked her if she wanted me to explain and she nodded her head. So I told her everything I could think of, from deciding if she'd want to take her clothes off to how wonderful my friend is to how massage is safe and all about her. She's quiet so we drive on and I tell her if she doesn't like it all she has to do is ask for the therapist to stop. Her eyes got wide at the naked part and otherwise she just smiled and once we got there my friend immediately embraced her and shooed me out of the way. About an hour later I hear giggling and I see them walking arm in arm down the path to the lovely veranda where I am sitting and I look at her and I swear it's the face of an angel, all sleepy and beautiful and glowy and I smile and ask her how it was and she says Oh Jen I loved it I loved it so much and she hugged me and I hugged her and we talked for awhile and then drove home.

On our way back we stopped at another friend's house, he has a absolutely amazing home with a pool. Pools are the lap of luxury here, every time I see one I literally start to salivate so when he says feel free to jump in I do. I look at my friend and she's watching and I reach out my hand, come in and float, you won't believe how nice it makes your belly feel having it in water so she does and she lays her head against the edge and smiles big. We chat a bit and we get ready to go and on our way home she looks at me I've never been in a pool before and I reach over and grab her hand it was a day of firsts for you then and she leans her head back and smiles and doesn't move till we reach her house.

As I drive home I wonder what having these sorts of things introduced in your life really means, whether never knowing means less wanting or knowing means you are a bit wider because you've filled yourself with new things and I hope it's the latter and am conscious of not wanting to be the former, the person with big ideas that don't put food on the table or a roof over your head and to be honest I still don't know because most of the world gets along fine without all the extras every day all the time no matter what and we folks with our fancy ways show up and tilt the scales.Bookmark and Share

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12 comments:

Omaha Mama said...

It's a day she'll always remember fondly. You can bet on that!

Janet said...

Healing touch and the feeling of near weightlessness. What wonderful gifts to give an almost-mother.

Amber said...

When I've done things that are normally out of my reach they usually turn into good memories. Life expanding moments. Like the time I rode in a helicopter or my few luxury travel experiences. I don't think that they created more wanting.

I think you gave great gifts and I am sure they will be well received.

krista said...

i think the wanting usually weighs in heaviest when you're surrounded by people with more and you look back at yourself in comparison. but when it's not thrown in your face everyday, it's special, it's a treat, it's something not taken for granted.
oh, man, it should be mandated that every pregnant woman gets free massages. it was honestly the only time during my entire pregnancy i felt good.

beth said...

That's so nice of you. I bet she had a great time.

meno said...

Two of my favorite things, massage and swimming. What a treat.

flutter said...

a woman after my own heart, jen

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joker the lurcher said...

massage is something that societies must have had in the past - in a funny way we have lost that sort of treat and replaced it with the stuff you buy. i think you gave your friend something more than a present - you gave her a sense of herself; where her edges are, if that makes sense.

luckyzmom said...

This could only be a goooood thing if you ask me.

Kim said...

She is blessed to have you as a friend....

Amy Y said...

It sounds a bit to me like watching your children experience their firsts and living vicariously through them. How awesome that you get to do it again!