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public reactions to me and baby

April 18, 2012

On April 1, my daughter was married. I’ll tell all about it when I have some pictures to share. But, this was a significant crowd for me and Azaan. On April 15, DH, Azaan and I went to a Pakistan / American picnic. While there weren’t as many people at this second event, there were some differences in how the public reacted to me and baby. Yes, it probably is cultural… … and partly a response to our blindness, as well. But, quite interesting.
When my daughter got married, the three of us spent the entire weekend with the wedding party, etc. At the wedding, most people asked about the baby. They asked the common questions: age, name, sleeping through the night, etc. They reported to DH that Azaan looks quite a bit like him in facial features and build. They even played “pass the baby,” which I was not too thrilled about. When you ask a blind person if you can hold their baby, it is not polite for you to pass it on to another person without the parent giving their consent. Once, my mother’s sister stepped in because the baby had been passed to a child who was carrying him around…. Shhhh, DH is kind of paranoyed about this, don’t tell him. (smile) Eventually, he will read this blog. I am putting strategies in place so this doesn’t happen again!!! Anyway, Many people wanted to hold the baby and/or help when/where needed. Distant family members even offered to hold the baby while we ate dinner. Here Azaan and I. and Azaan the morning of the wedding. are the only two pictures that I have of Azaan that weekend. I hope to eventually get one of him in his suit, but for now, this is all I have.
Now, contrast this with the PA Fa Picnic. I think there is a picture of us at the picnic here … … or will be soon. . No one spoke to us hardly at all. And, when they did, “to ask us if we wanted something to eat,” not a word was said about the baby. DH did say that he heard people talking amongst themselves about our “cute baby,” but no one spoke to us directly. that is, until we were getting ready to leave. I suppose it took that long for people to get up the nerve to speak to us. Even then, they talked to DH about his family in Pakistan and finally asked about the baby. This was an older woman — Auntie. And, she was almost shocked when I offered the baby for her to hold.
OK, now I am not an attention hound who brings her baby around others so that they can coo and awe. It is just that there is such a marketable difference. I was hoping that the baby would give a visible affirmation to Pakistanis that “we” actually do have something in common with them and maybe help to start some dialog which could lead to friendships. It seems that either way, we just can’t make those connections easily. I try to find a group of mothers (or couples) that we can associate with so that we all can socialize with a group of likeminded families. In this way, DH, myself and Azaan won’t feel so “on the fringes.” somehow, religion, nationality or disability seems to always get in the way. While Americans will talk with you about your baby, the conversation rarely goes farther to actually be a suggestion to include you in their circle of friends or a desire to “get to know your family” better. And, it seems that with Pakistani crowds, we don’t even get that far.

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