Well, well, well. Looks like the most fabulous kid to ever strut down the birth canal is on its way after Queen B’s announcement amidst the glitz and glamour of the VMA’s red carpet: She and Jigga are expecting their first bundle of joy together. After years of questioning the power couple about their plans to birth a power tot, the paparazzi finally has their wish and will probably spend the next nine months or so inviting us into the every bubble and bounce of Beyonce’s womb. Hold on to your Twitter feed, folks. It’s about to be a gossip and teeny-tiny-minute-detail filled pregnancy.
Even as Bey stood there drenched in her typical brand of flawless gorgeousness, cupping her cute little baby bump beneath a flowy Lanvin gown, something bigger than her obvious joy was in the works. Another Black couple is making marriage stylish, cool, obviously happy, and now they’re having a baby. Even as the brouhaha from the Will and Jada divorce dust-up tentatively settles, Beyonce and Jay-Z and Lala and Carmelo are making jumping the broom and raising babies palatable to a generation that has grown up listening to their choice of baby mama anthems while using “baby daddy” as a term of endearment.
When Keyshia Cole married her man, NBA baller Daniel Gibson, back in the spring, my first thought was ‘go ‘head, y’all!’ Because even though I’m smack dab in what will apparently be eternal singledom, I’m genuinely happy for any couple who finds each other, from celebrity mash-ups to Pookie and Clandetta down the block. Even with all the bells and whistles of the new millennium, there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned love story.
My second reaction was a bit more reflective: I wonder if Keyshia and her bestie Monica, who got married herself back in the beginning of the year, will inspire their fans, maybe even their fellow single mothers, to believe in the institution of marriage? Even reach for it? It would’ve been nothing for either one of them to take the new-age route and shack up instead of making it official. Seems like everybody and their sister’s cousin is either living together or creeping up on common law these days. It’s the modern way of getting to happily ever after. Times have changed and getting hitched isn’t even necessary anymore in order for a man and woman to be content, functional and socially accepted.
And that may work for some folks. To them and others who just don’t think it’s that deep, first comes love, second comes marriage, then comes the lady with the baby carriage is a rhyme that didn’t mean much more beyond the playground in elementary school. But to me, it’s the natural order of things, the way the good Lord intended them to be, the modus operandi that makes the most logical sense. I had to find this out the hard way, though. I read all of the comments in the blog posts that I write and one poignant (albeit a bit ig’nant) observer pointed out that my desire to one day have more kids with a hubby must mean that I had a baby with a brother who chose not to marry me in the first place. Ouch. But it’s true: I consciously made the choice to lie down as a teenager with my good, common sense floating somewhere between good sex and first love.
So now, after besting 12 years of single motherhood and nine more months on top of that of being a baby mama, I see now that there is a reason why you should wait to be married before you have little ones. This ish ain’t easy solo. Not that having a husband makes life a cakewalk, but if you’ve picked the right dude, you’ve got a partner to help shoulder and share the responsibilities that come with being a parent, a homeowner—heck, an adult in general.
I don’t know what any of these relationships look like from the inside, whether they’re genuinely happy, whether they’re actually, factually in love or whether they keep their distance and come together only for photo ops and public appearances. What goes on in their homes is privy only to them and the close companions that may or may not someday write tell-all books. I’m talking about what these couples represent.
Despite the dismal statistics about Black love, all this recent vow exchanging is a good look for the little 12 and 14 and 16 year-old girls all wrapped up in their celebrity worship. Maybe they’ll wait until they’re married with a hot-to-death career before they have a baby, just like Beyonce. Hey, if that’s what inspires them to wait, then I’m all for it. I know I for one would be much more hype about going to a married woman’s baby shower than force a smile to sit through one for another single mother.
Celebrities wield such heavy influence over what so many folks do, say and believe—including adults, so let’s not front—that Mrs. Carter’s decision to do it the right way (yep, I intentionally left the quotation marks off) just might spark a positive trend. Now that’s a story I’d be ready and eager to read about.