Friday, May 28, 2010


The universe...It knows.

The big perk in this whole confessional drama was that, until it came time for Mike to graduate, I didn't have to think about it - except the universe KNOWS...

My sister in law decided to get us all together for drinks after work tonight - she's been planning it out all week and she was really looking forward to it so, as much as I wanted to come home and spend the night with some bad tv shows, some knitting and a little bit of silence, I pulled up my big girl pants and went out to the bar anyway.  The first half of the evening was fairly predictable, me and a few girls from work trying to make idle conversation while I was far too sober to find any of them entertaining....and then Melissa showed up and things got a little more interesting.  Not, you know, fun, but oodles more uncomfortable, which is interesting in it's own right, because she walked in with her youngest - her seven month old daughter, in tow.

It took me a few minutes to get through all of the 'you brought your baby to a bar' jokes in my head and, while I was trying to find something that rhymed with 'tacky' i suddenly assumed the roll I always seem to assume when there is a baby nearby - 'oooh! shiny!"  Or, at least, that's how they all seem to respond because after all of the wriggling, reaching and generally throwing themselves in my direction, the parents who don't know me well enough to know that infants can give me full on hives in a matter of seconds hand them off.  I can never really blame them, because if you've got an infant, anything that keeps them from crying and doesn't involve something life threatening probably seems like a good idea but, from my perspective, it's a raw deal.  A raw deal emphasized 100 fold by the two soon-to-be-parents across the table who spent the whole night looking longingly at the squirming kid sitting on the table playing with every plastic coated drink menu in reach and practicing her walking.

I haven't held a baby in almost years.  (I know this, because the last time I was in the proximity of a baby for any extended period of time was when my grandmother had major surgery years ago and the only kid there, screamed the whole time because I wouldn't hold her.)  When you're a teenager and you're holding a baby, people don't have much to say, but the moment you become an adult, the first thing people say is "you're a natural" and then the hives start...  Thankfully, my sister knows just how far I've gone not to have to hang out with an infant twenty-four hours a day, so she didn't have much to say and between baby-hazed couple ad the girl who knows me well enough to know when to laugh either didn't notice or found it distantly funny but I was still aware of that sense of impending pressure.  (What a liar I felt like making faces and getting nervous and uncomfortable while she giggled and tried to hug me every time I talked to her is a matter for another day...)

And to think, I'm fairly immune to social pressures....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Journey To Motherhood Or, You Know, Not...

Deciding not to have kids is easy when you're a hyper-rational, commitment phobic, genetically screwed girl whose mother thought she should get one of the pricey seats at her brother's birth.  More than ten years later, deciding to question that decision is a lot harder.

I don't know how or when it all started, because, up to now, I never had a problem with facing a life without giving birth to someone who leaves legos on the floor and smokes pot in my bathroom but at some point, that baby smell and the prospect of stitching up a dinosaur costume for halloween - even being the bake sale mom - it all started to sound a lot less bad than it did once upon a time.  Sure, I still have my reservations.  I'm nothing if not a realist, so it's not that I don't expect to beg for death after 72 hours of no sleep or the first time I find a condom in the dresser drawer - it's just that all of that stuff seems, somehow, less important. 

I figured that this feeling - this ridiculous, non-sensical, masochistic feeling - would fade.  I certainly thought it would never stand up a night with my idiot kid brother and yet the impulse doesn't seem to be fading.

Fortunately, I'm far too stubborn to be caught up in a rip-tide of what could be no more than hormones so, frighteningly real though the longing for tiny blankets, strollers, itsy btsy bottles and adorable onesies is, I'm only dealing with it now because I know I'm going to need every second of the two and a half years between now and twenty-seven to prepare. 

I know - I know - "no one is ever prepared," but, ya know what, there's no reason to be less prepared than you absolutely have to be and me, I try never to be unprepared for anything.

Naturally, I was completely unprepared for any of this so what did I do but the only thing I do whenever anything happens or changes or catches my attention - I turned to the internet.  Normally, I just look for someone to talk to but since there are at least a dozen or so words I can't type or say and they're all fairly relevant to having that-the-most-tragic-of-all-conversations, I opted for Plan B (Freud would be proud) and started searching through the thousands of Mommy-Blogs for something different - not a dozen websites about women who struggled with IVF or who always wanted kids but ended up with them a little bit sooner than they'd planned but, instead, for the loan former baby-phobe among them.

It's taken ages and I'm still not sure I've found what I'm looking for - the absolution, the reassurance, the approval - whatever.... Knowing that there's some truth behind the "you'll like your kid," advice people are so ready to dispense, even when you aren't looking for it.... It's comforting.  I'm a long ways off from being anywhere near ready to make that choice, but I'm open to the question, I guess.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Day At A Time

There are two thing that everyone should know about depression.  The first thing is that when you start to climb out of it, it isn't all better right away.  The second thing is that the things that happened before - that happened while you were depressed - they're a little...murky. 

All jokes about alcoholism aside, I've fought tooth and nail for most of the growing up I've done.  (Colin, Sean, King, Ian, Andy, Brian... Anyone ringing a bell?)  The last few years have been a bit of a blur, so coming out of it to find that I'm a very different person from who I always was has been...hell, I can't even articulate what it has been because I'm still watching the previews.

A person makes choices.  Every hour of every day, there are choices that have to be made and, to an undeniable extent, these choices define who we become, so how is it possible that so many things that distinguish who we are can change when we're not looking?

Call me crazy, but I think you could certainly call marriage, children and careers the three biggest sticking points in a persons life.  Don't get me wrong, no one knows how littler decisions can alter your course overtime, but those are still the big three.  So what seemingly inconsequential and utterly imperceptible change in the fabric of spacetime occurred that turned me from the Highland Park, Brian and A Bird girl into the Wherever We Land (As Long As It Isn't Alabama,) A Rabbit and A Baby girl.

That's right internet, you just heard things that I still can't verbalize sober.