Monday, April 23, 2012

The Conversation Conversion

Mrs. Blackwell and I were at a get together Saturday evening with a group of folks who had just completed a long, long race. 

Sure, she's cute, but her running times have plummeted.
The gist of this event is that teams of people run three segments totaling about ten miles. All told, the course runs about 80 miles. This race is a pretty big deal with folks coming from across the country to compete and, in most cases, simply complete it. 

Mrs. Blackwell ran in the event last year but, with a baby ready to pop out of her any day now, doctors recommended she pass this year. That said, we were thrilled to be invited by members of Mrs. Blackwell's team to attend an after party for this year's runners. 

Aside from great wine, this party also consisted of some of the best cooking I've ever had. Homemade bread, homemade pasta noodles, homemade everything. Just really, really great food.

With all of this happening, a fun party complete with kids running around, incredible food and great wine, it was interesting to me that at one point a large group of people found themselves engaged in a conversation about breast feeding. 

Now, admittedly, the ladies were far more engaged than the guys, each of whom was already a father. The guys didn't run for the doors and while the ladies did most of the talking, the guys weren't bereft of contributions to the conversation. That said, I had zero to add.

It's emblematic of the power of babies that parents will ignore what might seem to be more interesting and immediate topics (like having just run a huge race for instance) to discuss any manner of facets pertaining to them.

This isn't the first time I've seen a spontaneous breast feeding conversation or a chat about handling poop quite literally pop up. 
Science class also offered ample fodder for my clever brand
of humor.

There seems to be a bond of sorts amongst parents, and mom's in particular, that if someone in their presence is sporting a baby bump or has a baby, pregnancy and all peripheral topics are fair game. 

And, when babies are the topic at hand, there are no boundaries. 

Watching a conversation swing between the Green Bay Packers and breast milk is still a new experience for me. And despite being well into my 30s, perhaps I'm still suffering from the 5th-grader-in-health-class syndrome. 

"Tee-hee-hee. We're talking about boobs."

My gross immaturity notwithstanding, it can be a bit jarring to take a stroll down the aisles of a Babies R Us and  witness complete strangers providing tips on what otherwise is pretty personal stuff. 

But, once that wears off, it's liberating to talk frankly about something so important. Tips and information are shared and discussed generously and, for first-time parents like Mrs. Blackwell and I, this is welcome.

Not to get too philosophical but, so much time is spent being proper in everyday life. It's a great thing that babies seem to be the one matter where people drop pleasantries in favor of priorities.

What could be more important than a baby? Fair enough.

Now, who wants to talk about disposing of a full diaper?

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