Friday, April 23, 2010

New litmus test

In my teens and twenties, it periodically came up that I skipped a grade. I had always been young for my grade, and that made me even younger, and then I was young for my first job. No big deal, I did it when I was 8 years old, it had very little relevance to anything present. But when people would ask about my relative young age, I would tell them. 

And whenever I did, there was always one of exactly two responses: 1. Oh, huh. and 2. Oh, well, my parents didn't LET me skip a grade. 

I mean, OK. It always felt a little defensive and somewhat shoulder-chippish. It surprised me the first couple of times, but then I heard it over and over. It's not like it was this incredible character-revealing moment, but it usually ended up making sense when I looked back at other moments. 

Anyway, that has stopped coming up. I don't look as young anymore. Also, I'm *not* as young anymore. But I have found a new inadvertent litmus test: telling people I'm pregnant. Oh, the first responses are always about the same: "Congratulations! That's such great news." People are all really nice, and that's great.

But being pregnant is not just telling people once. It's 6 months or more of it coming up in conversation. And I've found that sometimes people really reveal a negative side. I don't have to hear, this is how my experience sucked and your experience will necessarily be the same. I mean, if it is inevitable, why do I need to worry about it now?

Because let me reveal this about myself: I'm excited as hell about this kid. Sure, I have some anxiety too, but I will take it as it comes. And I'm sorry about whatever it is you feel negative about now, but you don't have to make it about me.

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