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Little ambushes

October 22, 2008

Just outside the entry to the library where I work are three rows of rowing machines, operated by athletic young men and women who are participating in a row-athon for the March of Dimes. It’s a very good idea, for a very good cause, and I almost went up to them today to thank them on behalf of my little family, but they have a life-sized baby doll with a little blue hat near their sign, and little blue hats, apparently, need to be added to the list of things that make me cry. Even when worn by plastic baby dolls, which feels kind of pathetic.

I’m part of a university commission to improve work and life for women students and employees and last Friday we spent quite some time at the monthly meeting discussing child care. It’s important, and like many workplaces we need to be better at it, but I really just kept thinking, I’d give a lot to have that problem right now. I left the meeting early partly to avoid being made chair of anything (I couldn’t do a good job of that right now) but mainly to lock myself in my office and make use of some tissues.

And then there is West Wing, which I’ve been watching on DVDs rented from the public library. Ah, West Wing, my retreat from all things baby-related, my escape from real-life politics which seem so bogged down in pettiness sometimes that I’ve started fantasizing about emmigration, how you have failed me. My favorite character, Toby Ziegler, and his ex have twins in season four. I had accepted the upcoming presence of babies in my safe haven of a TV show; I was okay with it. But then they went and named the boy Huckleberry. Little Huck. And it’s silly and almost funny, but I felt betrayed for a moment, hearing our baby’s prenatal name in this show I’ve been turning to for relief. To make matters worse, because of the overall coolness of the show, I may now owe N an apology for laughing when he suggested Huckleberry as a real name for Teddy. And of course the baby in the episode was wearing a little blue hat, which brings me back to where I started, I think.

These aren’t the hardest ambushes, they’re just the little ones.

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2 comments

  1. Hi there,

    I am terribly sorry for your loss.

    My name is James and I work for the March of Dimes hosting our online community. I came across your blog and noticed that you were also on the commission to improve work standards in your workplace. I can’t imagine how difficult that would be for you.

    If you want, however, our work standards document, I am happy to provide that to you as a reference. Please feel to email me.

    Warmly,

    James


  2. Hi Erica-

    For me the show was Ugly Betty. Then a character showed up named Charlotte. Then she got pregnant.

    Somtimes I feel like life is trying to break us down even further. I just have to laugh at it all. What else do you do.

    Thinking of you,
    Heather



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