The Next Realm of Empathy

May 17, 2005

em•pa•thy n.

Direct identification with, understanding of, and vicarious experience of another person's situation, feelings, and motives.

I had the strange realization the other day (while driving to work, of course) that I’m entering into a whole new realm of empathy with this motherhood thing. AND it’s quite a BIG realm at that.

Now – I’ll be able to relate to being vomited on, to being crapped on (although I guess a night at a bondage/filth fetish club could give me that) – but I digress.

All these cheesy quotes that I read – ones that say “Becoming a mother is knowing that your heart will forever be walking around on the outside of your body” or something like that – they’ll make me cry. I’ll nod and I’ll say: Yep – Ol’ Beanie’s got my heart.

I’ll join that secret sorority of women who’ve been to hell and back – all in the name of their offspring.

I’ll no longer scowl upon seeing a screaming baby in a restaurant. I will merely give an empathetic smile to the mother.

I will become horrified when someone’s breast becomes exposed during a Superbowl Halftime show because I really don’t want to be fielding questions about nipple-rings from a 4 year old.

I will no longer passionately hate larger vehicles and the soccer mom’s who drive them, because I will understand that a stroller, a bouncy seat, a portable crib and 2 full diaper bags just don’t fit into a Volkswagen Beetle.

I’ll come to know the difference between Dora the Explorer and Kimpossible and I’ll even be able to remember the name of that weird little pink thing she hangs around with.

You know – I’ve ventured into other realms of empathy, as we all do.

The more common:

Yeah, I had cancer, too.

Yeah, I know what it feels like to be a fat woman in a world of anorexic, bulimic whores.

Yeah, I worship my dog as a tiny furry god.

The less common:

Yeah, a tree fell on my car while I was riding in it.

Yeah, my husband and I don’t sleep in the same bed either.

Yeah, me, my mother and my father all met our current mates online as well.

But I think I’m most excited about the motherhood realm. Can’t wait to say, “Yeah, I can totally relate to the whole “cheerios are everywhere” thing.”

Anyway – those were my thoughts as of late.

3:55 p.m. ::
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