Well, Aren’t We Special!

You're SpecialPregnancy and Young Motherhood are very special times in a woman’s life. In the past few years, I’ve been surrounded by young mothers and mothers-to-be in my family, at Hair Gallery, and in the celebrity gossip magazines I read while I’m there. I look at them and think about when I was in that stage of life. It’s very sweet and dreamy. But I swear, if I hear or read one more reference to a “baby bump,” I’m going to scream.

I hate jargon, and the cuter the jargon, the more I dislike it. The Gen Xs and Ys have come up with new terms for old customs. First, there’s “Baby-Wearing,” which means only that one ties the baby to one’s body with an ample cloth, thereby holding the baby close but also allowing the parent to go about at least some of the other business of life. “Baby-Wearing” has been around pretty much since the beginning of humankind, not to mention monkey-kind, possum-kind, kangaroo-kind–you get the idea. The other term that gets on my nerves is “Nanny-Sharing,” which is just what it sounds like but is in the newly popular gerund form.

Lest I seem like I’m picking on younger generations, my own–the Baby Boomers–has come up with words and phrases to define how special we are, too. How about “Post-Menopausal Zest?” Such a chipper, glass-half-full term! Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who has experienced it. Or “Sixty is the New Forty”—I like the idea but I’m not sure how widespread the reality is. And, come to think of it, “widespread” is the operative word. In a couple of decades will we be telling each other than “Ninety is the New Seventy?” And will that be a comfort to any of us?

What all these cutesy labels for life’s stages reflect is the fact that, though billions of humans before us have given birth, tended children, and aged, when it happens to us, it’s for the first time and we personally experience all that life’s changes involve—joy, dismay, pride, wonder, fear. And we feel special.



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About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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