Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stork poo on my head

I'm in Townsville and my hotel is directly opposite the Strand. The sun is setting and as you can see the sky is a fabulous inky blue. The little white square jutting out into the sea is the stinger net- you can't swim in the open sea over summer because of box jellyfish and irukandji (small fatal jellyfish) and a couple of others I can't remember. So people swim in these little netted bays - but not many people, and I haven't been game to. Queensland also goes in for artificial lagoons - giant beach-shaped swimming pools with sand and lifeguards and everything. I laughed when I saw the one in Brisbane, at Southbank, but Townsville and Cairns have them too .

My brother Paul is pregnant. Or, more correctly, his girlfriend Mandy is. Paul doesn't sound that excited. 'We haven't decided what we're doing yet,' he said. 'At least, I haven't. Mandy's got her mind made up.' They weren't trying - in fact they were told that Paul's medication probably meant he was infertile. Mandy's very excited. Paul doesn't feel the time is right, but is thinking he'll buy a computer so he can get his book about God and relativity finished before the baby comes. Paul's been doing a massage course, with the idea of turning the second bedroom into a massage room so he can supplement his disability pension. 'Of course, now Mandy's gone and done this, I can't do that any more,' he said.

Paul said he'd told Mum last night so I rang Mum. Poor Mum, she sounded very flat. 'Maybe it'll help him pull himself together,' she said hopefully. 'You know, give him something to focus on other than himself.' It's her first grandchild and with all three of us kids running out of reproductive time, I did think she'd be happy about that. 'Oh, yes,' she sighed. 'But I just keep thinking, I wish it was you and Lovergirl'. This from my previously hardline Christian mother who used to tell me I would go to hell if a boy every touched me 'down there' out of wedlock.

I figured out some time ago the world was not about fair distribution of babies but still I'm feeling a bit deflated.

Addendum, next morning:Walking along the Strand this morning, I started thinking about how middle class and judgemental this post sounds. And as a person in the mental health field, I'm supposed to support the right of all people to have children, regardless of susbstance use and mental state. I know I'm jealous. I just wish he sounded a bit more excited, rather than that it's something Mandy has deliberately done to throw his plans into disarray. But I'm sure Mandy will be a great mum.

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