Our dear friends just welcomed a new daughter into the world. I am so thrilled for them, and also strangely proud. That seems a funny emotion - one that should be reserved for your children, or maybe siblings, rather than adult peers, but there it is nonetheless.
Having been through child carrying and birth twice I feel somewhat of an experienced hand, and let me tell you, its no mean feet. Not just the physical aspect, although that's enough, but the emotional and intellectual task of getting another person into the world. Its just so intense, the idea that you are completely responsible for the shaping of this being, right from conception until, well, forever. Yikes. The burden of thinking that everything you eat for nine months, maybe the type of music you listen too (should I be playing Bach through headphones into my belly??!!) your emotional state, if the pre-natal vitamin makes you barf so much is it OK to stop taking it? Then, with no break to regroup, onto 'are they sleeping enough / too much?, am I too strict, or too relaxed? is it warping my child that I don't practice 'controlled crying' like every health visitor says I should?, do they feed enough/too much? .... and the list goes on.
These books on carrying, bearing and raising infants that all set out the rules like they are some kind of unchallengeable manual forget to mention the guilt and the worry. From the first little blue line on the stick.
So its because of this that I am proud, of every man and woman who doesn't run screaming into a padded cell at the first stirring of nausea, the first well meaning comment. ( and of those that do, but come out of it with some glimmer of sanity).
The amazing level of strength, of fortitude that goes into feeling all this emotion, somehow managing to not be a gibbering wreck (all the time), raise happy, health little people, and be mostly happy and healthy yourself is worthy of the most praise, recognition, the biggest salary, and all the pride I can muster.