When you enter Adulthood, Time starts to move rather quickly.
You step over the line, and immediately enter one of two camps: (1) the crazy Singles or (2) the Baby-Makers. The spectrum in-between the two is wide, but this split is ever-apparent. And, you always know “whose who” — or who is kidding themselves.
But, what if you get to That Stage of life — when you’re supposed to be Baby-making in a big house with a green lawn and a Suburban SUV and the Glory Days fading into a past life — and you don’t actually want that?
WHAT IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT?
Honestly, I don’t know what I want.
Some days, I just want to go to the gym on my own time, and have Lazy Saturdays, and do my dishes when I’m in the mood — and I feel like those types of days are numbered. I feel like when I’m immersed in those selfish moments, a thought will creep in my mind that whispers, “Enjoy this. Soon there will be more of you, whinier and crazier versions of you.”
It doesn’t take long for me to shake my head and push that thought away.
But, but — some days I pass these little creatures on the street, and my heart melts. Some days it makes me tear up. I watched these parents who are so in awe of their snot-nosed creature that I can’t wait to have one of my own. I can’t wait to know that I, We, created this breathing, living thing.
I can’t wait to love someone as much as that.
All these thoughts started bubbling over because of one comment that I overheard on my way to work the other day.
It was a rainy, mid-week morning, and the troves of Tribeca parents were walking (pulling) their kids to school. After watching this power-struggle every morning, I’ve become somewhat unfazed by the cuteness or the agony.
But, as I turned the corner towards my building, I happened to catch the tail-end of this conversation between a mother and her toddler. In his high-pitched voice dripping with innocence, the little boy (who was pretty stinkin’ cute) looked up at his mom and asked:
“MOM, WHO DO YOU LOVE MORE — ME, OR DADDY?”
I watched for the Mom’s reaction.
“Well honey,” she said with a look of strain versus confusion versus impatience, “I love you both.” I saw her eyes dart to the side. “But, of course I love you more little monkey.”
She missed a beat. “Don’t tell Daddy, okay?”
Her son seemed untroubled by his Mom’s clear hesitation. He squeezed her hand a little harder. “Okay Mommy. I love you too,” he answered as he looked up at her.
Of course, the pair went on their merry way, and probably won’t think about that exchange ever again.
But, I did. All morning, in fact.
I kept going back to the little boy’s question: Who do you love more?
And, it made me ask myself: Will you always love your kids more, even if they drive you crazy? Will I ever have that moment of hesitation when my kid asks if I love them more than my husband? And, does that make you a bad Mom? Will I even be a good Mom?
Would I be good at it?
A million thoughts trickled through my mind that day — Of course I’ll be good at it. Maybe my maternal instinct will kick in when I get older. Maybe I’ll crave having these kids more when I get older.
…Then the questions shifted. Because, are kids required? Is it so bad if that instinct never kicks in? Are you doing harm to your kids if it never does, but you decide to have them anyway?
My Mom was, is, so good at being a Mom.
What if that’s not in the cards for me?
For right now, I don’t know. I just don’t know what I want. I’m a young 20-something and I can’t think about babies right now. And, that’s okay. I still want my Lazy Saturdays and dirty dishes and long evenings at the gym. I don’t know if that’s forever.
And, that’s okay.
Because, either way, you’re not alone.