Today started the way most of my Saturdays do. I slept until I was ready to get up. I got up, let the dogs out, made some coffee and spent a little time on the computer. I took a long shower, something I don’t always do because I’m a bit of a tree-hugger and I feel guilty taking long showers when Florida is in a perpetual state of drought. I actually used two or three of the 497 hair care products in my bathroom and tried to do something with my mess of hair.
Eventually I had to leave the peaceful solitude of my house and go to Jacob’s first birthday party.
It was great to see so many friends and their kids. I have a group of friends with some pretty awesome kids and it is almost always a joy to spend time with them.
Maybe it was the gloomy weather or maybe it’s the fact that some days I can barely hear anything over the sound of my biological clock ticking, but I came home and fell head first into a sea of melancholy.
I don’t have kids. At this point, it doesn’t look like I’m ever going to have kids. Most days this is ok with me.
I’ve never had any overwhelming urge to be a mother. When I was in high school I almost fainted while watching the childbirth film. I can remember it to this day- who has a baby on a butcher block table in a basement?! I remember putting my head down on my desk and the teacher having to walk me outside.
It was my very own version of Scared Straight.
I spent all of my 20s having a good time. Babies weren’t on my agenda.
I got married but that didn’t last long. The time never seemed right to start having babies and besides, I didn’t feel any pressing need.
I never came down firmly on one side of the fence or the other. Time and circumstance just got away from me.
I don’t think I yearn for a baby so much as I regret the absence of my child.
I’ve had the opportunity to be a parent. I’ve made choices. I’m not a mother.
And most days that is ok with me.
I wake up when I want to wake up. I fly off to England for two weeks to road trip and spend time with close friends. I go island hopping on my jet ski without having to tow a raft full of toys behind me. I clean my house and it stays that way for days. I read books and watch tv and snuggle with my dogs. Some days I don’t even turn on the tv or the stereo. Sometimes it’s just me and the animals and none of us are talking.
I live in peaceful solitude unless I choose to make noise. My life is mine, my time is mostly mine. I do things I want to do and I do them on my terms, not the terms of a four-year-old terrorist.
And most days that’s how I like my life to be. Neat, quiet, spontaneously fun.
But every now and then, on a day like today, my friends make me sad and I feel a twinge and my womb aches and I think about my future. I worry that I will grow old and end up alone, with no children to watch over me and make me feel like what I did mattered.
And all the peace and quiet in the world can’t quite make that feeling go away.