So, here it is upon us, another Mother's Day and I'm sans a pretty baby. Where's my pretty baby, you ask? Oh, well, my parents scared motherhood out of me long ago.
I can recall their conversations back when I was a teen.
My mother would talk about the shame that I would cause the family if I were to ever "pop up pregnant." To be clear, in the days before the wisdom of new school grandma Sarah Palin, an unwed, teenage mom was the worst thing in the world that a girl could do to her parents' image.
My mother would eavesdrop on my phone conversations if I were gushing about a cute classmate. She would pick up the receiver and shout,"Don't you walk into this house pregnant, as if you don't have a father!"
Ah, but yes, I do have a father; a Michael Clarke Duncan-lookalike who was pretty hard to miss.
Big Rob, 6'-5", not so lean, and always mean (I guess he would have to be mean with three teen girls running around), was a trucker. When he wasn't on the road, my Pop-Pop was solidifying his reputation as a man capable of committing acts of violence on any Casanova that set out to break our hearts. And Pop-Pop ran a pretty tight ship -- until we turned 17, we were in the house before nightfall or all hell would break loose.
When the streetlights illuminated, Pop-Pop would stand on the front porch, clad in his truck stop couture -- plaid jacket, Chicago Bears baseball hat and Dockers fashionably secured with a steel link chain and Masterlock -- and he would yell our names until we appeared.
We were practically raised in a convent. No boys would ask my sisters and me out on dates. And it boggles the mind that we went to prom!
Between my mother's guilt trips and my father's insistence on locking us up at the hint of nighttime, my sisters and I managed to escape the doom of teenage pregnancy.
But perhaps their birth control tactics were a little too effective; today, a full decade after we've all left the nest, we remain childless.
And now that we want families -- and they want grandchildren, of course -- the pickings out there are slim-to-none. (Unless we become Prison Pen Pals, like my cousin Rita who found a man and is due to be married in 2025...um, if the Parole Board agrees...that Rita was always so patient).
Looking back, I think my sisters and I may have missed the boat completely. We should have begun looking for mates immediately after high school.
The guys were hotter back then. The picking was aplenty, and even the world around us was different...better, it seems. We had better music, better clothes (the '80s will always be the Decade of Decadence!) and well, we didn't have to worry about AIDS and swine flu.
Oh, and that Mommy Wars thing, you know, the big competition between professional women and the stay-at-home moms? I never thought I'd admit this, but the envy between us is real. At least on my end.
And every Mother's Day, I get a little green with envy when I see the mommies at American Girl and at the nail salon and at church with their well-behaved kiddos.
One associate sometimes laments that she should have waited to have her children; she longs for a career upgrade and ponders how her life would have been different if she took a different, childless path.
I just shake my head at that.
I guess she'll never know that despite what's going on in her world, at least in my eyes, she has it all.