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To Stare or Not To Stare?

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We all know it’s not socially “acceptable” to stare at someone else.  That’s one of those things that we all learn early on, and, for the most part, it’s a custom that is universally followed.

Except for when babies are concerned. 

We took Eliza to Florida last week on a mini-vacation.  (Of course, it’s never a vacation with a baby, it’s merely a location change).   I really tried not to overpack, but with a 1 year old in tow it’s virtually impossible not to end up bringing a ton of stuff.  In addition to her clothes, toys and diapers we had to lug her giant carseat through airport security because I was too nervous to rent one.  As we were standing in line juggling a sippy cup of milk, a squirming toddler, an empty stroller, a giant “barka lounger” of a car seat and all of the other million items, I suddenly realized something odd. All. Eyes. Were. On. Me.  Well, on the baby in my arms, to be exact.  People were staring at Eliza. Some were smiling and waving at her, trying to get her to wave back.  Others were just plain staring at her.

Of course, the baby doesn’t mind.  In fact, she kind of loves the attention.   But it was very weird for me.  I’m not a person who loves being the center of attention.  Part of the reason I haven’t publicized the link to this blog yet – and maybe never will – among my friends and family is because I don’t need people to know my inner thoughts.  I’d rather fade into the background; observe others rather than be observed.  But with a baby in tow? I might as well be on a stage.  Instantly I started obsessing over my hair, my clothes, the fact that I was wearing my glasses.  But then I remembered.  I’m merely the mother of the star. 

And this particular star has no clue that it is rude to stare. 

(Originally posted Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.)

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