Saturday, February 27, 2010


For the senior English short stories class with a theme of human behavior we are starting with birth, poems from Sharon Creech's heartbeat.

Having a baby seems like such an important moment in a person's life. Being born is a memory that is long gone but revived somehow when you have your own.

I wonder how different it is having a baby in different countries. I never did get to ask questions about it in Africa where most of my friends were men and students. I bet the West African PC health volunteers know more about it. I have only experienced an American family having a baby by being the outsider, the friend who takes care of the other children while the mom and dad go off to have the baby.

The poems in the book are from the viewpoint of the big sister as she watches her family have a baby. I wonder how similar or how different her viewpoint is from the way a Chinese family will have a baby.

My observations of watching my friends have babies is similar to the protagonist in Creech's book.

The woman starts feeling sick and then learns she is pregnant. A baby shower is thrown. The family talks to the baby while it is growing in mommy's tummy and a room is prepared for the new addition. Doctor's are visited, ultrasounds are taken, heartbeats are heard, and classes and books are used to prepare for the birth. The time comes, a babysitter is called to watch the other children or the grandpa who needs looking after. Then dad drives the mom to the hospital or to a birthing center and hours later a baby is born. The baby is taken home soon after and everyone wonders about the fragility of life and the preciousness of it as we peer at the little toes and fingers and the yawning mouth.

I guess I am feeling a bit excited now for my first day of class to hear my students' reactions to the poems and to learn about how their families had their babies.

PS. I wonder does everyone have a birth story? Does your family tell you stories about when you were born? Or is the memory of one's birth silently kept by mothers and fathers?

1 comment:

universalibrarian said...

In our family my parents tell me about the stuff around the birth. Came 6 weeks early right when dad was 10 feet down a hole laying the foundation for the addition to our house. The nurses wouldn't let them take me home until they named me after 4 days. They Didn't want a name that could be made fun of easily.
Also if I had been born first I wouldn't have a brother. (Horrrible child)