Two things on babies that the internet made me say today:
1) I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again. Do not collect children like chotchkies. No I don’t believe that we should go all China on you and charge 7 years worth of wages because your family planning methods are shit. I do believe that your body is your decision. But that you should act reasonably about it. Are you unable to afford the children that you have? Are you unhealthy or creeping up there in age? Do you have fertility issues because of chronic illnesses? Was your last pregnancy an utter nightmare because of how high risk that it was? Is getting pregnant putting your own health and wellbeing in jeopardy?
These are all deal breakers. Maybe not for your first child, or hell I’ll give you the first two. But if you have two or more existing children and it is very dangerous for you to have another, or if you cannot guarantee the health and wellbeing of your future larger family. THEN DON’T HAVE ANOTHER GOD DAMNED KID. Yes, I think babies are a blessing. Yes, my ovaries explode overtime that I get with in 60 feet of an infant. But you don’t see me popping out babies every year because I think that some how my life would be more fulfilled. And I’m young, healthy and financially responsible for my family.
If that offended you for personal reasons, then it’s you that I’m talking about. Not sorry.
2) Incase you missed the announcement of the year. My best friend is growing a little baby bear in her beautiful womb as we speak. I’m a little excited.
About this time 7 years ago for a multitude of reasons and cosmic destinies I peed on a pregnancy test for the third time in 2 weeks and two little blue lines stared back at me. A long exhaled FUCK is about the best description of that feeling. I was 20 years old, full of false optimism about the trajectory of my life and my ability to be a parent. Up until that point everything that I had ever put my mind to, or wanted bad enough always worked out. That was of course all a direct reflection of me, my personality, my intelligence, my sticktuitiveness. Naturally. I was pretty great. And I could totally handle 1 baby. I mean yeah, it’s just 1 baby. Single mothers everywhere have 4 plus babies. Slaves gave birth to babies in the cotton fields, strapped them to their back and continued working. It’s not that hard. I could handle it.
I just needed to have a silent panic attack, walk my dog for an exorbitantly long time and get my shit together. Gulp. Well that went well for about 1 day. Then the skies opened up, the first bolts of baby daddy reality struck and the shit storm that would be the next 3 years of my life blackened my skies.
I strapped my self and the blastocyst that would become bouncing baby Ever in the car and drove to my friends house. I can’t remember which came first Ari or Laura. At Laura’s I ranted about my life to her and the unsuspecting bystanders. She was rational, collected, her friends were always in a life predicament. And then I went to Ari’s. Sat on the front step and broke down in completely sobs. She held me. She made all kinds of unsupported assertions about my superhuman capacity. She told me that she would help me raise it.
Life went on. 8 short and excruciating months later Ever became a shitting, screaming, vortex of happiness, love, loyalty and conviction.
Dysfunctional though it was I had a village in Kansas that allowed me to be a full time student, a fully time employee and a part time mother. It was love and support. It was also piecemeal parenting. No one wanted me to give up on my dreams, no one wanted me to miss rent on any given month and everyone wanted to be the best ______ to their granddaughter, niece, daycare parent’s kid.
Most of them did. But it was no substitute for a real family.
The concept of a real family is always on my mind. I’ve written about it, grappled with it, thought and twists in turns about it. Maybe that’s what you do when subconsciously your soul is trying to make the sum of the parts a whole and complete family and not just for yourself anymore- though that would be nice- but because that’s the most absolutely fundamental thing that you can provide your progeny.
I couldn’t find the footing at home that felt right. Infact it all completely unraveled which is enough torment and then the skies turned green and purple and hailed down deceit, danger and mostly heartbreak.
I had to leave.
On an unassisted, parachute free, leap of faith I decided to move to New Mexico. Ari was there and it was far enough away. Those two pros out weighed all of the cons.
And she helped me raise it.
Somehow despite the bumps in the road the pieces have fell in place here (for now, I’m getting less naive). I’m learning to trust a path that I can’t explain and never understand in the moment. But on that road every day are the two most beautiful gals in my world, Ev and Ari.
Ariel- I probably won’t have to be the pillar in your parenting adventure that you’ve been for me, but when you need me I’ll be there. When you need a cheerleader that boldly exclaims that if Sarah Smith can do it than so can you, I’ll be that person. When you want to put that baby in the microwave (jeez I never actually did that) because you will, I’ll find you a bottle of wine and turn on Shaggy, I know how that makes everything better. And if for any reason your path gets knotted, unruly and incomprehensible I’ll hold your tinny little hand and walk blindly into the future with you and these beautiful children that we’ve created.
I love you and yours. Forever and Ever.