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Wartime Babies

Wartime Babies

So, Angelina just had her twins. She named them after Borat’s real-life wife, and the main character from that French indie movie from 2001.

What’s with the baby boom? Young’uns like Ashlee Simpson, Jami-Lynn (don’t get me started), Nicole Richie, Halle, the list goes on and on. And these are just the famous ones.

A good friend of mine from college recently had a child. We had been out of school for less than a year when she told me she was pregnant. I practically fainted.

Hey, I’m all for kids. They are great, in fact, one day when I am independently wealthy and have a large farmhouse and a wealthy partner to help clothe the children in the finest threads, I might have several of my own. But I stress the phrase one day. That day is not today. Or nine months from now either.

We are told that in times of crisis and war people cling to one another on the home-front. Although this war has been dragging on since flare jeans were still cool and R. Kelly was still a free man (might want to fact-check that), no one seems to notice we are in wartime. Consciously, at least.

My ninety-year-old Nana tells me that during World War II, everyone banded together for the war effort. Most people had at least one relative serving overseas, and Roosevelt was fireside-chattin’ every night as a kind of national pep rally. Silk stockings were rationed, so was meat, and rubber for car tires. We felt war.

Now in 2008, here I sit in my nice, cool two-story home, eating a bountiful fresh salad, drinking bottled Fiji water. On my desk is a cell phone, a cordless land phone, two computers, and through my window I can see my new car parked in the lot below. I have wireless internet, two televisions, TiVo, and a bureau full of clothing, much of which I never wear.

In a time of such abundance, how can we feel the visceral effects of war?

I suppose my friend, and Angelina, and all the other pregnant ladies are looking for more meaning than what they can find at Neiman Marcus or at the car dealership. Perhaps having so many children around is not such a bad thing.

At least babies won’t know what materialism means for a few years.

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