Thursday, May 20, 2010

Celebrate the sameness, appreciate the differences

Last night two of my favorite old Bible Study friends and I went to see "Babies", the new documentary.

Y'all, it was precious. It was a short film but had me thinking long after I left. First, I was glad I went with the girls. There were a whole lotta bubbies in that movie. Secondly, I thought, I American babies should not wear diapers like Namibian babies because those little behinds are so flipping cute.

Really though, I have spent some time thinking about color/culture blindness and whether or not it is even a good idea to 'not see' color. In graduate school, I had to argue for or against inter-racial adoption and was surprised to find I had feelings for both arguments. In the end, I came to realize that color/culture has nothing to do with how a child feels love or nurturing, but should not be ignored. There is a lot that is beautiful about how different we are.

From this movie, I celebrated the differences in how other cultures nurse their children so much longer, out of necessity for nutrition and as a cultural norm. Ross- no worries babe, I don't plan to breastfeed until he/she is in preschool, but I won't say other cultures have it wrong here either. I can also appreciate the work ethic that children in Mongolia and agricultural areas have from the youngest of ages. Those sweet babies do not have music class Monday, swim lessons Wednesday and Mothers Morning out on Fridays (not knocking it at all, esp MMO :)) but think there's something to be said for children learning to entertain themselves and for being a part of the family work from babies.

I also marveled at the sameness of God's creations. Each of these babies was most quickly soothed by their mama's skin. Each was made to laugh most easily by their mother's kisses on their tiny necks. Each had the same adorable waddle as they learned how to walk. Each learned to hit another child to get what they wanted and to cry for attention. And each one of their smiles made me so happy that God made me a woman. To be a part of creating one of those little beings is a miracle I cannot comprehend.

After watching that movie, I feel like the world is a little smaller. As mamas, we each have the difficult tasks of feeding our children, educating them, cuddling them when they need it and knowing when to let them learn on their own without the safety of our arms. I am humbled by the task and today, I am 101% giddy that this most difficult job soon gets to be mine!

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