The question comes up — now more than ever. Since I’m marrying a man who is not only younger but has never been married and has no kids of his own… well, the question comes up.
Sooo, you gonna have a baby?
The answer? I honestly don’t know.
Does the idea of having a child with this man who I am madly in love with delight me? Yes. I would love to share that experience with him. See what our love makes. Teach our baby all that we can. Shower him or her with hugs, kisses, and songs. And, for the first time, raise a child with a partner by my side.
Begin it all again.
But then reality kicks in. My age. My daughter’s age (she’s 13 — “mommy, seriously, you and I are both too old to have a baby.”). My career. His career. Did I say my age?
I know you read things like, Halle Berry pregnant at 47, Nicole Kidman at 43, even that Italian lady who got knocked up a 60. And, no, I’m not even close to 60. But I will be when the kid is in high school. EEK. I thought my mom having me at 38 was embarrassing. Now, that’s a number I’d give anything for!
But I admit… I see a baby and my ovaries instantly scream “ME WANT” — like cookie monster when seeing a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie.
I love being a mother. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful, challenging and miraculous, overwhelming, enlightening, exhausting and inspiring.
With every new shoe size my daughter grows into the ache of her no longer being a baby grows in me. It is all going so fast. I look at pictures of her taken only a year ago and see how much older she already is. I look at videos of her learning the alphabet and cry. I clean her room and find a stuffed animal she had in her crib and have to smell it.
I know! It’s creepy!
And then something totally new and unexpected happened. I bought a new car and couldn’t wait to give my daughter a ride. But instead of getting in the back seat like she’s been doing her entire life my daughter chose to get in front. Now, she’s been old enough and tall enough and weighed enough to sit in the front passenger seat for awhile but she just never did. She always climbed in the back. For 13 years we have looked at each other and talked and sang and laughed through the rear view mirror. Our drives. Our time. Baby in back.
So, when she got in the front seat and looked at me like, it’s time mama. Is it okay? All I could do was smile, take her hand, take her in, and take joy in watching her as she fiddled with the radio station and looked at herself in the side mirror.
Just like I did when I was a teenager.
There’s no baby in the back seat anymore. She’s now sitting by my side. And, one day, she’ll be in the driver’s seat. It’s the heartbreak of being a parent… letting them grow and go.
But when I look in the rear view mirror I think, maybe… maybe there will be a baby there again. Wouldn’t that be something.