Lauren Scott: July 2010 Archives
Last week I mentioned how I wrote Piglet her first letter. While I'm not going to post it here (truly some things in this internet era are still private), I will share a general sentiment included in my letter.
It seems as though (and some people say) that oftentimes parents project who they are, wish they were, and wish they weren't onto their children. Perhaps that is so. I'm venturing that it's all part of the myth of who we are and become. Predictably, part of my letter considered her looks: who she will look like and what personality traits of her mom and dad she'll inherit. (Yes, Nancy, I remember, she could inherit my most embarrassing traits). Or I wonder if she'll carry recessive genes that make us joke about the milkman.
I wrote about my wonder and curiosity of her and this wonder's connection to legacy, family, and family myths. While this letter is certainly addressed to a much older person, I feel as though it's important for her to know where she comes from as that surely will shape who she is to become, whether she likes it or not.
I grew up with particular family myths about the women in my family, the family name (my maiden name is Spanish), and the interwoven tales of my ancestors and Texas history. Of course I heard about my Yankee side of the family too (we can trace that side back to the Mayflower), but the Texas history and tale-telling always seemed to light up the eyes of the storytellers. From my grandfather who in his youth was a curly redhead, a boxer, and a writer - who penned the most exquisite poem on the birth of Texas I'll ever read - to one of my great aunts who was one of the first women in Texas to own her own cotton gin (she also refused to marry and seems to have been her own version of Bettie Brown). Of course we have a connection to the capture of Pancho Villa as well as a former President. (Doesn't it seem we're all related somehow to a former President?) Mondo will surely share the stories from his family including that Piglet's great, great grandfather learned to fly from the Wright Brothers.
While growing up, I truly enjoyed these facts and stories but only as much as the storyteller had in reciting them. In particular, my father's love of history permeated much of my childhood, and I admit, it annoyed me to full-on bouts of eye-rolling. This love practically dictated every family vacation too. From trips across Texas to Washington, DC, history was included somehow. Oh how I loathed my father those hot summers as his long legs lumbered what seemed miles ahead of the rest of us on the way to some other document, battleship, or fort. But, that all changed somewhere in my mid- to late twenties I would guess. All of a sudden, a switch was flipped, and history and legacy aligned in my mind in a way that had not happened before - it became personal.
Because that's part of what brought us to Galveston. While I don't know too much on how my family's history may overlap with Galveston, I felt a deep kinship when we came here (as did Mondo) because of our city's architecture, the gateway to Texas history.
And what I want to impart to my daughter is truly that the story of her life is all her own, yet will align ever so slightly with those who have come before her. So, while some may choose another place to rear (Grandma would demand I use the correct verb here) a child, Galveston is our home and provides opportunities, experiences, and perhaps perspectives not available just anywhere.
Of course, I imagine, Piglet will have much more to bear in the history department than either of her parents: she'll live in one of the most historic cities in Texas. In a 140+ year old home. Surrounded by her parents' architecture and history books on our fair Island. Perhaps one day, she'll note the myths that were passed down to her, including that the year of her birth, Lost Galveston, written by Brian M. Davis, was released and there's a signed copy in her library, dedicated to her.
FYI: If you haven't planned to attend already, do consider attending the reception/lecture/booksigning and exhibit for Lost Galveston this Saturday, July 31 from 6pm to 9pm at the U.S. Custom House, 502 20th. Oh, and bring a hanky.
This past Friday night, Mondo and I embarked on another incubation adventure: the 3D Baby Scan. It all started after our regularly scheduled 2D anatomy scan at UTMB back in May. That was the first time we got to see Piglet since she was a mere fetal pole(basically a little node with a blinking heart). The experience was amazing after a) I got over the fact that initially she looked like a Sea Monkey, and b) we were so fortunate to discover that she was developing normally. I only wish now I had written down the name of our sonographer - she was fantastic. Equal parts easy-going and informative.
After the appointment, we rushed to the Culpepper's shop and to other friends' offices showing off pictures and announcing that Piglet is in fact a girl (still sorry to those who lost that bet). We were saddened to discover that we would have to wait until her birthday to see her again. I believe that day marked the beginning of offspring addiction that to my pre-pregnancy self seemed totally alien. I could feel the rush of that addiction take hold: I mean, guys, she totally waved at us and surely it looks like she will have ginormous eyeslike her parents.
Being the total hardcore father-to-be, Mondo began the 3D/4D Baby Scan search. We were a bit rabid: we had to see our Piglet again before October (fingers crossed as I'd like to keep this little chica in the oven for as long as possible).
As if a sign from above, Heather Martinez, the owner of 4D Baby Scan of Bay Area Houston invited us over for a scan! Although the office is located in Dickinson, all is right with the world: Heather, a burgeoning IBC, and her BOI husband just moved to the Island this past spring, family in tow. They bought one of the last homes Nicholas Claytondesigned in the East End. It was fate I tell you - seeing Piglet again and supporting local!
Now, I've read about how you should talk to your baby, read, listen to music, and it's even been recommended to sing. I've done some talking and Kevin and I are reading East of Edenout loud (my fav book), but sometimes I feel a little insane.
I mean, intellectually I know there's a baby in there, but sometimes it's more of an abstract concept. I mean, who is she? And, that rippling and sometime roiling feeling in my belly could still sometimes be mistaken for gas (those of you who have been pregnant feel me on this). I was hoping to see Piglet again not only because I just needed to see her but also because I needed to re-confirm that there really is a baby in here. Sometimes when I think about it, there is something so Sigourney Weaver a la Alien about being pregnant. (Don't worry, I won't link to that awesome yet gruesome scene, but it's easily found on YouTube if you're so inclined).
So, Heather, Queen of 4D Baby Scan, I have to tell you, you gave me personally, the greatest gift I will have been given, well, until Piglet is born. While I may still have been processing the entire event when we left your shop that evening (I'm a delayed emotional translator - Mondo will confirm), at 6:00 am the next morning, I was downstairs writing the first letter to my daughter. That's the absolute power of my experience.
I feel as though I met my daughter for the first time (ok, more like a bad version of a one-way mirror but roll with me people). This is truly the greatest gift I was given: to connect with her in a way I was unable to until now.
Truly more important than the 325 pictures on a CD and the 30 minute DVD of Piglet's eye opening, feet eating, and face grimacing, was not just seeing her, but was being in the moment: watching her onscreen (giant onscreen might I add) as she moved in my belly. I now feel connected to her in a way I hadn't before this scan. So, while I may not be singing to Piglet anytime soon (and honestly, she doesn't want me to), talking to her doesn't seem so bizarre.
On another note, in case you hadn't notice, I totally recommend 4D Baby Scan of Bay Area Houston. Aside from the amazing experience itself and Heather's graciousness, they offer a customized, relaxed, comfortable environment for just you or as many friends and family you want to include. Other cool stuff: the Tempur Pedic Bed for mom, the massive sofas for friends and family, the complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries. Oh! And the Little Lamb Maternity & Baby Boutique on site. Might I recommend one the fabulous Born Out of Necessity diaper bags?!
Have to admit it: 50% of baby advice is really helpful and the other 50% falls into the "smile and nod" category. It's a lot to take in especially when it's constant. Sometimes in all the information, I find I miss the important stuff like "Don't register for baby all at once. Make several trips." One would think that this would have stuck with me (blame pregnancy brain) considering that I wrote about how the big box baby stores on the Mainland just about took the Mondos out when we were just browsing during the first trimester.
In all fairness to us, we had limited choices in the matter. We had to register that sweltering Sunday or wait another six weeks or more (we're shockingly busy right now considering our lives as we know it detonate in October).
So when we started out, list in hand, sensibilities in order, little did we know the land of babies would take five hours - count 'em 5! I'll try to be positive about the outcome; we left with a fairly good skeleton of a registry list.
It was insanity people. It took us an hour to get out of the feeding section! Walls upon walls of bottles, nipples, nipple butter (I know, I know it makes me giggle too), spoons, cups, bibs, pumps, etc.
The Best Wish You Were Here Moment:
Mondo: "We need to get you some nipple shields."
Mrs. Mondo: "What? What the hell are nipple shields?"
Mondo: "You don't know what nipple shields are?"
Mrs. Mondo: "You do?!"
But the best was yet to come (okay the crib that was guaranteed in stock that wasn't in stock is a close second). We finally make it back to our fair Island, psychologically brutalized and ankles the size of cantaloupes but we're still together, still a unit.
The next morning, I go online to check the registries to make sure all is well. Kid you not: almost a quarter of the items we registered for had horrible ratings. Okay, like a onesie isn't a big deal, but for the love of Bettie Brown, the stroller we spent 35 minutes jacking with apparently is the worst thing ever. The front wheel falls off! And let's face it, in Gtown we practically need a Humvee while we wait for some of the City's infrastructure projects to take off. (Ahem 23rd Street). I'm just thankful that this was one of my mentally and emotionally stellar days. Even the ear thermometer we picked out sucked. (One might be asking how you go wrong with an ear thermometer - I got nothing).
Again, thanks to friends and family, we're gonna be alright. In fact my cousin-in-law
(SuperMom of twins) scoured my lists and sent me more items to register for and what items to delete off the list like 4 sheet savers (we got a little crazy with the registry gun towards the end).
Sometimes I think I just need someone to tell me what to do when it comes to all of this stuff.
Overall, I'd say it's coming together.
Soooo, I'm gonna address this one head-on, 'cause I know you're thinking it. Hell, even over at IBC, we've chatted about the irony of it all. So, here goes. . .
About this IBC/BOI thing. We're IBC because we chose to move here and make a life here. (Please see IBC's original, kick-off t-shirt). Piglet will be a BOI until, well, I guess until she's 18 (or until she graduates college, gets a job, and gets out as my Dad always joked we needed to do) and then she can claim both I guess. Our whole thing with IBC isn't really an anti-BOI thing anyhow despite what one may think. We just wanted to be able to proclaim our love of this Island and have a way to claim ownership too in unison with BOIs not despite them. But, the way I look at it, Piglet will only become an IBC like her parents if she chooses to come back here as an adult. Hell at this rate she's only a COI. I'll let you guys figure that one out. (Let's just say ArtWalk brings out the best in the Mondos).
So, BOI. How does that work? Well, you have to be actually born on the Island. Whether in a hospital or in a pool in your living room or I guess your bathtub (and no, the Mondo's are not choosing that option although we highly recommend watching The Business of Being Born), you are born on the sandbar. Don't ask me what happens if you're born on the Causeway - I frankly don't know. One exception I've heard about: a couple of BOIs brought Galveston sand to their child's mainland birth. From what I understand aside from being BOI, if you were fortunate to be born at St. Mary's, you are truly hardcore and too legit too quit (Yes. That.just.happened.). Alas, no more St. Mary's. So, it's UTMB folks.
Now, I know some of you may have chosen to go off Island for kids for various reasons. For us, it makes no sense because literally, we live 3 minutes from UTMB - Children's Hospital & John Sealy to be specific. We have a fantastic OB/GYN who comes highly recommended and is a super star not only in her clinical practice but is a respected researcher as well (and she lives and works here). And, well, as funny as this seems even as I type this, we totally shop local. So, Piglet will be born at UTMB and will forever be BOI. Now to ensure she's an avid preservationist . . .
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