My parents and their adorable kids in the unfortunate 80s
One of those subjects that inevitably pop up when you hit the big 3-0 is having kids. When are you having them, how many, and how are you gonna raise them?
My friends and I haven’t gone beyond “reserving” baby names (nothing too hippie, nothing too British, and nothing that will twerk when it grows up). While marriage and long-term partnerships have crept up on us, kids have remained elusive save for one friend. At every birthday party we pile her kids with gifts and then bemoan how old we are getting and how fast they’re growing up. Yet our bellies remain empty and our timelines vague (Maybe next year? Next year? Maybe).
My mother once told me that there is nothing more fulfilling than having kids and raising them. I remember looking at her and then at my siblings and wondered about her ambitions in life. We’re not a bad bunch, but we’re not exactly… exemplary. But since it was my mother, my biological clock started ticking more loudly. I felt pressured. Should I write it down on my To-Do List? This worsened when I quit my job. Why not have kids? After all, it’s not like I was busy.
Before people jump out of their seats and wave their outraged fingers in my face, no I have plans on going to get myself pregnant because I’m bored and looking for direction. Duh.
What happened instead is that C’s best friend and his girlfriend got pregnant. As I listened to her talk about her “wild” c-section, my knees buckled and I knew that I was not good enough or strong enough for motherhood. No sir. Not yet.
Health, Wealth, and Family
I’ve asked my partner C about kids and he always responds with a wide smile and a reassuring, “Why not?”. We are both extremely close to the kids of our siblings. His brother has 2 rambunctious boys and my brother has 2 adorable girls. We love them to death and spoil them every opportunity we get. Yet there is an audible sigh of relief each time we kiss them good night and hand them back to their parents, riddled with sugar and possibilities. We’ll have kids, but not now. That’s how it’s been for the past 5 years.
When C turned 40 years old, I had a dilemma. What do you give a man who wants nothing and has everything he needs? At that time, I foolishly decided that he needed more attention, as his brother tends to hoard all the well wishes in the office. And what would cause more attention than an Audio Visual Presentation to be screened in front of the whole office, during his birthday party celebration? It sounded marvelous, so I asked the people closest to him, like his brother, best friend, and a bunch of his favorite employees to go on camera and send him cheesy birthday wishes.
What can you wish for a man who has everything? Well, apparently you could wish him kids. Yes, KIDS— the perfect gift for the man who has everything else. As I was editing every earnest interview, I wanted to throw up. Everyone kept going on about how wonderful he was with kids and how it was time for him to have his own. On the day of his party, my ovaries couldn’t take the pressure and seemed to close up within its self. When we were finally home, I asked him what he thought up about the AVP. I was met with the same wide smile. Of course they’re going to wish for me to have kids, he said, but right now I need new running shoes.