BC and I have a running joke that is always guaranteed to bring a smile to our faces. Every time one of the many co-workers, cousins, acquaintances, or strangers on the street start in about their newborn/ baby on the way/ toddler gymnastics class, etc. we both look at eachother and blurt- “I knew I forgot to do something!” Yep, we’re both 31 and we forgot to have children.
Don’t get me wrong. I meant to have kids. I used to teach daycare and toddler Sunday School, and spent nine weeks as a camp counselor so I have actually spent time with children voluntarily and lived to tell the tale. I loved every minute of it (well, minus the diaper changes… but nobody likes changing diapers). But somehow, between finishing college late, underpaid internships, law school, a fellowship, and moving from Atlanta, to NJ, back to Atlanta, to Pittsburgh, to DC, and back to Pittsburgh and contemplating a complete lifestyle overhaul, I forgot to have children.
I know the news is constantly going on about famous wealthy women who have babies into their 40’s and that, at 31, I’m hardly on the last dying legs of my fertility. But, 32 was always when I thought it would be a nice time to “settle down” and start a family. My fellowship will be done, I have good insurance and a decent income, I’ve sown all my wild oats, I’m young enough not to have to worry about major age-related birth defects, I was in a settled relationship, etc. Because these things always go according to plan, right? Because my own neuroses will open the universe up to work according to my day-planner, right?
But the other part of the “I forgot” equation is my long-running argument to BC that if we hadn’t forgotten to have children we would have so much less time to spend navel-gazing and focused on all the petty b.s. about self-actualization and relationship drama and fulfillment and whatnot. Because some small person would need breakfast or their shoes tied or be screaming about how they hate me for making them stop coloring on the wall. We both laugh that our parents never had existential crises; they had babies.
Now, BC’s situation is a little more complex… he and his boyfriend would have to jump through some hoops to get knocked up. In fact, his boyfriend is coming to town to sperminate a lesbian friend of his from college as a favor- BC says he will be the baby’s “spunkle” (heehee- rhymes with uncle).
But my situation- well, if it was up to me, I’d mail order some magic tomorrow and start a freeze-dried family immediately (with or without the fiance’). Or start classes to become a foster parent. Or both. But I’m back to trying to make a new plan and postponing the old one for now while I wait out my next move.
I meant to have babies. Instead, I’m babying myself. Because somehow, along the way, I guess I just forgot.