I find myself doing this more and more these days. I suppose it's all part of getting older, but it really does seem like time moves much more quickly. I'll catch myself referring to things that happened in college as "a couple of years ago" when it was more like five or six years. I realized last night that my 10-year high school reunion will be this summer. (I need to call the school and see if they know who's organizing it, because I haven't heard a thing, and I really do want to go.) And aside from nearly doubling in size (well, okay - I did double in size, but I'm back down to less than that) I haven't really changed since then... Have I?
It's a little scary to think about. Don't you remember being in school and thinking it was going to be forever until your next birthday, or Christmas, or whatever? My parents would always say the same dumb thing: "It'll be here before you know it." I never understood it. The closer we got to the desired day, the slower time seemed to crawl. But this year, sometime in mid-December, I suddenly noticed the date and I thought, Wow. Before I know it, it'll be Christmas! Spooky.
Things to remember if I ever have kids of my own:
- All love lasts forever. Saying "You'll have forgotten him completely in a while" may be true, but it isn't adequate consolation.
- Yes, it does matter what their friends think - and if their best friend were to jump off a bridge, they very well might do it, too!
- Even very young children understand sex and sensuality far better than their parents would like to believe.
- After puberty, being confined to your room isn't much of a punishment.
- Make the rules just a little stricter than you really think they should be - if they get a guilty rush from something that doesn't really bother you that much, (and they don't know it doesn't bother you) then maybe they'll hesitate at doing anything more.
- Remember to smile! (This isn't actually an echo from my own childhood - this is a response to a woman with three adorable little girls that I see at the gym who never - and I mean never - smiles at them. It's sad.)
We had dinner with Chuck and Anita Monday night, which was nice since we hadn't seen them since before Christmas. Anita is hugely pregnant, and she seems to be enjoying herself now that she's past the nausea phase. Though they're both a little stressed over the reorganizing they'll have to do to fit the baby into their house and lives, which is completely understandable. But they both seem very excited and happy.
Once again, I found myself thinking about what it would be like if Matt and I were in their shoes. As we were leaving, I almost asked Matt what he would think if I were to change my mind about not wanting children. I didn't say anything because I didn't want him to think it was just another momentary waffle on my part. But I've been thinking about it, off and on.
I grew up knowing that I would have kids of my own one day. There was no need to question - it's just what you did. You grew up, you got married, and you had kids. The questions were things like whether you worked or stayed home; how many children you would have; whether you wanted boys or girls or both. Only in the last five years or so have I questioned that certainty and thought that I might not want children. And now, I'm questioning again. Maybe it was a phase I was going through? Fear, or the certainty that I simply wasn't ready for parenthood, or maybe just the desire not to have to share my sweetheart with anyone else.
I'm not saying that I've changed my mind. I still don't think that I'm ready to be a mother. And if Matt never changes his mind, then it won't matter anyway, because I am not going to force fatherhood on him if he doesn't want it. But I am starting to think that I may one day change my mind. Maybe in a few months or years. Maybe I'll swing back to the "no kids" side when our friends start their families and I can be frightened again by how much work it is. Maybe my waffling is related to that feeling of time passing too swiftly. I don't know. This is just a journal - talking to myself out loud. I don't promise any answers.