I teach at an all girls high school. My students provide me with much joy (spontaneous dance parties, goofy outfits during spirit week, absolutely sincere questions about the mysteries of life), frequent heart pangs (breakups, fights with parents, general teenage despair), and occasional moments of “Really???!! Why would you do THAT?” (no need for details here, just reflect back on your teenage years and take it from there). And the amount of love they’ve poured out since the news of Baby Fierce hit the streets has taken this to a whole new level. And their exuberant, overflowing desire to commune with Baby Fierce and share that love as often as possible brought me to the inevitable question–what about the belly rubs?
Now, I grew up in a pretty physically affectionate family. But I also grew up in New England. As a result, I love a good hug, but I also love my personal space (moving to Oregon where people often hug simply upon meeting you really threw me for a loop. I do what I can to cut off most of the initial hugs with a firm handshake). When I shared the news about B.F. with my TA (basically a homeroom class that stays together all four years, doing parties and service together and generally bonding to the nth degree), 17 pairs of hands immediately reached for my stomach and the wee little life inside. And in that moment, I knew–that for me–the answer was to just bask in their affection and happiness. The idea of saying no for the next 6 months just seemed crazy and totally not worth the effort. And if that results in dozens of belly rubs a day, so be it:-) I believe Baby Fierce feels the love, and there’s no way that can be a bad thing.
A couple of side notes: I’ve received what seems like a billion offers for free baby sitting. I’ve also had more girls than I can count explain how their names can be both girl names and boy names. Despite their enthusiasm for Cecily/Cecil, Anjanae/Nate, Laura/Laurence, Rae/Raymond etc etc etc etc, I’m not quite sold. But I’m all over that free baby sitting:-)