This has been a week for celebrity baby news. (OK, “news” is relative here, but work with me.)
Today we get word that Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick had their second child, daughter Penelope Scotland, this past Sunday, with the whole Kardashian clan present. Info still to come on whether the reality TV stars (is that what one calls the Kardashians?) will share footage of the birth, as they did with the arrival of son Mason two years ago.
This comes on the heels of a veritable celebrity pregnancy baby boom, with news from the likes of actors Claire Danes, Matthew McConaughey, and singer Adele announcing that little ones are on the way. And Reese Witherspoon, who in the past months has seemed a tad grumpy to have photographers zooming in on her midsection (I wonder why), confirmed that she was expecting baby number three.
All of this means ... I have no idea.
Seriously.why do people care so much about celebrity babies? But my, people do seem to care. The Internet is just buzzing with oohs and ahhs and “cutie pies.” Blog writers are gushing, old line news organizations are putting up slide shows, the Tweeters are Tweeting like it’s a beloved college roommate who just dropped the news of expectant procreation.
In a curmudgeonly mood, it would be easy to be grumpy about the whole thing.
But it’s a beautiful morning. The heat has broken a bit here on the East Coast. (At least where I am.) And I’m thinking, maybe there’s actually something really sweet about the baby gushing.
See, in our weirdly celebrity-fueled culture it’s easy to get negatively voyeuristic. We follow the disasters and the breakups and the leaked sex tapes; the meltdowns and the rehabs and the wardrobe malfunctions. Celebrities take up a weird space in the social psyche where they seem sort of like people but get a lot less empathy. We follow and gossip but don’t necessarily care about them.
Then the babies come along.
And even toward this sort of fuzzy not-quite-real celebrity world, people feel mushy.
It’s sort of society at its best, the way that perfect strangers open doors for you and congratulate you when you walk around with an infant; the way the grocery store cashier plays with your daughter’s toes; the way the gas station attendant makes funny faces to try to get your baby to giggle.
Babies bring us together. Celebrity or no. Maybe that's what this rush of celebrity baby love is really about.
So bring on the newest Kardashian.
No, I can’t believe I’m writing this, either.