Clothes make the man
7 December 11
Clearly, I’m out of the civilised loop. Clothes make the man, and colours identify the baby’s gender.
While in town, I forgot to change Elijah’s clothes and dressed him in hand-me-down pink. Consequently I needed to explain to the lovely ladies in the op shop that, yes, we now have a boy after four girls. This is the opposite to what I’ve been used to where I’ve had to dress our girls in pink to make their femininity stand out (despite their ear-piercings).
In the past, I’ve resented other people’s misconceptions towards our children. Now I see these as opportunities to start a conversation. Because I dressed Elijah in pink, I discovered that sixty years ago, Australian women spent two weeks in hospital after giving birth and the only time they saw their baby was when it was brought to them for feeding. These women — who have seen so much change in their lifetime — don’t appear to resent modern practices, and I can learn from their example. In the same way, I can embrace the changes that I see in my lifetime without idealising the past.