Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Just Stuff

I've recently come to a few decisions that have made me a rather unpopular mother-to-be:

I am not having a baby shower.
I am not registering for baby stuff.

There are many contributing factors to these decisions, and at least some of them have to do with my own personal hang-ups. But personal issues aside, it’s more about the stuff.

Since when did momentous occasions, such as getting married or having babies, become less about family and friends offering love and support to a couple, and more about buying gads of stuff?

The pro-registry masses will argue: “But your family and friends love you! They want to show you that they care!”

I don’t disagree with this. But my issue doesn’t lie with the people who love me and want to support me. My issue lies with the way our society has somehow linked the age-old tradition of love and support to baby registries at Pottery Barn Kids and Buy Buy Baby.

Case in point: I don't remember what any of our friends got us for the wedding.

Why should I? All of it was plucked from the registry that I was coerced into creating in the first place. Of course I appreciate the gifts. Of course I’m grateful. But do I feel a swell of love or emotion every time I look at my Kitchen Aid mixer? Okay, maybe that’s a bad example, because I am entirely bonded to my mixer.

My point is—you can’t feel love through stuff. And you can’t express love through stuff.

I received my favorite wedding present during our reception. Spiceboy surprised me by singing me our song. It was hot, and I was flushed from champagne, and Spiceboy was so adorable in his suit, and there were candles flickering everywhere and when the music started, I was alone and he was singing only to me. And then all of a sudden, I was surrounded by family and friends, and they were all singing along:

I’ll stop the world and melt with you.
You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time.
There’s nothing you and I won’t do.
I’ll stop the world and melt with you.

And I just stood there, hearing all of their voices together and looking at their faces and in that moment I thought I would explode with happiness and thankfulness for everything I have. I remember thinking: That is my husband. These are my friends. This is my life. I am so blessed.

I’m realistic enough to know that every moment in life can’t be charmed or magical. But it’s those little moments--those perfect pockets of time—which I really live for.

When I look back on my life with Spiceboy and Spicebaby, I won’t remember the bouncy seats and the baby bjorns.

I’ll remember warm moments with friends and family. The kind that don’t involve wrapping paper or plastic toys that were made in China, or supposedly “green” baby clothes-- that are actually made in China.

So don’t freak out about my lack of registry, okay? Just remember: I want to connect with you—person to person. I want you to give me a hug. I want you to kiss Spicebaby on her fat little cheek and tell her you love her.
I want you to help me make memories.

That's what is dear to me.

The rest of it? Well, the rest of it is just stuff.


Blogger kate.d. said...

sanity makes a comeback. thank you thank you thank you for posting about this.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I say we all pitch in to buy you guys the SUV of strollers. I see them all the time in the south end and I'm pretty sure you'll need one in NY as well.

Spiceboy's karaoke song at your wedding? Totally amazing.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Delurking to say bravo! I concur wholeheartedly. And where would all that stuff fit in a typical NYC apartment, anyway?

9:41 AM  
Blogger KARINA said...

Stick to your guns...I'm proud of you and you're so right.

2:35 AM  

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