Friday, September 16, 2011

One from the Memory Hole

I was looking through old posts and noticed a couple drafts that I never finished. Most of them were best left in the dustbin, but one brought to mind a really special memory from our birthing process and I wanted to finish it up and share it, albeit a year and some change late.

We had recently finished up with Lamaze classes. It was an interesting experience. While at times informative, neither of us would say it made a huge impact on the birth process. It did get us to ask more questions and that alone was worthwhile. Still, there was one especially funny moment. As two ardent science devotees with no real religious belief, things that smack of religion and/or spirituality can make us both a little uneasy. Amanda is considerably more sympathetic but, for me, it's as though I've wandered into a conversation where I can recognize the literal words people are speaking and get a sense of the context but I can't quite discern the meaning. While I've grown accustomed to this and keep my thoughts to myself, sometimes my cynical, sarcastic nature gets the better of me. When the Lamaze instructor directed the couples to sit quietly while the mom-to-be "focused her energies and powers," we both smiled a little at one another; the smile conveyed the years of history together and our understanding of our shared thoughts in the given situation. When the instructor started speaking in "affirming phrases" and asked the partners to likewise share affirming phrases with the mother-to-be, we tried to contain our sarcastic, cynical views and giggles. But when the instructor said something along the lines of "Feel the power emanate from within you outward," I could contain myself no longer. I leaned down and whispered my affirming phrases in my partner's ear: "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho." Amanda could hardly contain her giggles and covered her mouth with her hand to stifle them. I did it again, this time with a little more gusto although still quite softly and, for my efforts, ended up getting elbowed right in the ribs so that the last sound came out not as a whisper but rather as a softly yelped "HO!" Neither of us could contain ourselves at that point and we giggled like schoolchildren (albeit very quietly), almost crying from holding back the desire to burst out in guttural laughter. The class ended soon after and we approached the instructor to ask a couple questions, hoping that we wouldn't be chided too horribly for behaving like bad students. The instructor answered our questions, then said that we had a "unique way of dealing with things" and that it obviously "works for you, and that's what matters." You could tell that she thought we were nuts and didn't take things too seriously, but at the same time I suddenly came to respect what she was trying to do to some degree. Those were the types of things that, if Amanda had been in labor, would have helped her through it. Sure, our actions constituted a rejection of "sharing energies" and the like, running pretty counter to new age and/or religious sensitivities, but that's how we interact with the world and that would have been comforting to her in our own odd way.

To this day when we overhear discussions of shared energies, auras, etc., I lean over and whisper those sweet words in her ear "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho." And still to this day the result is usually a solid elbow to the ribs accompanied by a stifled yelp.

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