Sunday, January 08, 2012

Wishing for the Wish

I am in love. I'm in love with a baby girl who doesn't want to sleep when it's time to sleep and won't eat anything but applesauce. It's my friend's daughter, the formerly colicky one who's calmed down a bit, and I'm still in love with her.

She makes me wish I wanted kids. The mood swings are back.

I want to want the whole package, I do. But I still just don't. For the thousand reasons I've said before, I don't. But her face… my god her face. This baby has the best face, with wide bright eyes and her mother's infectious smile. God she makes me want to want one.

And then I see her parents, who haven't changed much as people except that they're tired all the time. They have a live-in nanny (Grandma) who takes care of her all day, cooks for them, cleans for them, and still their lives now revolve around this little child. Even though they have a full-time babysitter whenever they want to do what they want to do, they can't always do it.

She's expensive, for one. Far more expensive than they even imagined, and that's without having to pay for daycare. Mom's desire to go back to school for a career change has been exchanged for thankfulness that they have job stability. Her dreams come second now. And she's okay with that. I'm glad she's okay with that. And Baby's needy, going through week-long phases that drive Mom, Dad or Grandma until they're a raw, frayed nerve ready to snap at any moment.

But her face. I do love her face. I've said she's made of magic and it's true. Whether she's been crying all day or just threw up all over the place, her face makes it better.

But that face becomes a kid's face, which becomes a teenager's face and I tense up even thinking about trying to deal with a teenager, especially when I see the teens of friends beginning to run wild and rebellious in one way or another. Nevermind that we would never have the luxury of a nanny to help care for the infant like they do. The little bit of normal that my friends hold onto can be credited to Grandma living with them, which also creates an entirely different set of privacy-related problems.

It's not a life for me, but her face… her face makes me wish it was. But I get to make that face smile at me, make her coo and laugh, and then when she pukes I get to hand her off to Mom.

I still get to enjoy that face. Not in the same way I would if I was her mother, but I don't want to be her mother. Her face makes me wish I wanted one, but it also makes me feel so lucky that I have her in my life while I won't have one of my own.


Charlotte Pahline said...

I feel so happy when you post, like you're the only person in the world that I "know" who feels the way I do. I envy your ability to set your emotions aside and embrace the reality you're so committed to. I have nothing but terrible examples of what children do to a family in my life. If the marriage survives the children are insufferable. If the children and well behaved the marriage is a sham. Sometimes the marriage is a sham and the children are insufferable. If I could get my mind around anything it would be the idea of a baby...but the idea of a toddler makes me nauseated. Just think, all this angst without a beautiful little face to swoon at! I don't know how you do it!

Anonymous said...

I was a late bloomer, you could say. Started having sex at 22. I was REALLY picky.

I wanted to be a mother starting at age 8, when my cousin was born. In middle school, I had made a looooong list of baby names. That desire continued for all of my 20's... I even bought baby clothes and stored them in a 'Hope Chest.'

And then something happened.

After being single for most of my 20's... I married my Dream Guy at 29. Sweet, Sexy, Sensitive, Nonsmoker, Intuitive and Christian.

I waited SO long for a guy like him.

But finding him changed everything.

It wasn't until we settled into our little life together that I started RESENTING the thought of a child disrupting the intimacy, the bond between us.

I started to feel such a strong desire to do 'whatever it takes' to protect our union.... even to the point of considering not having kids.

Fast forward a few years and this feeling of rejection toward kids has turned my dream of stroller pushing into a new dream of maintaining my intimate connection with my husband.

We've been married almost 5 years and we still hold hands. We still flirt and play. We both just really appreciate our relationship. And we know that having a child won't enhance it.