Wednesday, October 19, 2005

perhaps a medic alert bracelet is in order....

last night was one of my nights to put wile to bed. as usual, i nursed him till he was groggy then picked him up and hugged him to my shoulder to carry him over to his bed. he heaved a big sigh, snuggled against my shoulder, and i thought my heart was going to just seize up right there.

i love lots of people: stephen, my parents, my brothers, my best friends. but none of that love has ever given me heart palpitations.

i can't count the number of times that my mother has tearfully told me that i'm the best thing that ever happened to her. and until mr. baby man came along, i just chalked this up to my mother's tendency to get a little weepy and sentimental sometimes. but now i understand: she really meant it.

and the funny thing, the ironic thing, is, of course, that until the minute i found out i was pregnant, i was sure i didn't want children. i'd never really connected to little kids. i was a terrible babysitter. my brother ben was born when i was 14, and i know some teenage girls would have been thrilled to have a cute little baby around the house to coo at and play with, but the main emotion i felt was royally pissed off. i couldn't understand why anyone would choose to put themsleves through what i was watching my dad and my stepmom go through—no sleep, poop everywhere, screaming crying, whining, tantrums—and didn't appreciate having no choice but to go through it all with them. so the thought of having my own? not appealing. i had been inside the belly of the beast, and i wasn't interested, thanks anyway.

of course, everyone assumed that i would eventually change my mind. it was always "when you guys have a kid..." or "how are you going to raise the children?" or "make with the grandchildren already!!" (that last one was inferred.) but i held my ground. i honestly believed that it wasn't going to happen. i mean, older people were (are) always telling me how i'm going to think differently when i too get older, and i find most of what they tell me to be total poppycock. for example, i've been told, by people who know me well and should know better, that i'm going to be less interested in food when i get older (yes, i can see myself totally giving up on something that has been a passion since i was five), and that i'm going to become religious because life without it will start to feel hollow (hi, have we met?). oh and the person who told me that i was going to find god sometime in my thirties also told me that it was not only the impending hollowness that would drive me to religion but also the need to send the children that they assumed i was going to have to sunday school so that they could learn "morals". so that was a double whammy, that one.

but while i still think that the other predictions are more projections of the predicter's own issues than anything else, i'll happily admit that i was wrong about the kid thing. granted, i didn't have a great change-of-heart moment and start downing folic acid and charting my cycle. nope, i had a blackout, which led to me not being able to refill my pills which led to a diaphragm which led to me peeing in a cup at my ob gyn's office because i knew that even though e.p.t.s said no, there was something lurking in my uterus.

and from the second that my ob brought me the results, i never had any doubts that i wanted to have the baby. but i could never explain why. i just...knew. years of thinking i didn't want kids? feh! some switch turned over in my brain and i just knew that having this kid was the right thing for me. i couldn't put it into words. and i guess i still can't. but the squeezing, aching feeling in my heart says it pretty plainly.

so i guess there is a chance that in 20 years i'll be a food-hating church-goer. but i doubt it.



[disclaimer: i started this post before i read dooce's post of a similar nature, honest. great minds just think alike and all that (or are on corresponding hormonal swings....)]

1 comment:

casey said...

that is such a beautiful post. i'm seriously teary and i'm not even a mom.

actually, that's the funny thing. i've been a kid-hater most of my life. my mom always said, "eh, you'll change your mind - i 'didn't want kids' either, and now i have 3!", and i didn't believe her. and up until i turned 29, i really didn't want kids. at. all. ever.

and then the switch got flipped. i have a maternal instinct? wha-??

my mother still doesn't even hint at grandkids, which i think is weird. actually, i've heard she's putting the pressure on jeremy, which is even weirder yet.