Maybe Baby

Featured imageWhen I was little, I never spent much time thinking about whether or not I would get married and have children. I assumed it was one of those things that happened in life, a fated event, a given. I was well in to my 20s before it really dawned on me that I had a choice. I thought I had choices in other areas of my life – what school to go to, what to study, what work to pursue. But a spouse and a couple kids would be part of the package regardless. Perhaps they would even be doled out at graduation – cap, gown, diploma – oh, and by the way, please pick up your husband and two infants on your way out of the auditorium.

Turns out I might have been a bit naive…

In fact, I did get married shortly after college graduation. Not to someone I picked up in the auditorium, mind you, but rather to my high school sweetheart. We had been together for years. I thought our marriage was a fait accompli, so if any doubts took up residence in my mind, I swiftly moved them aside and kept moving forward in what I believed to be the expected and necessary direction.

About two years in to the marriage, he started talking about children. Of course, we’d had the conversation many times before, but it had always been simple ideation. Wouldn’t it be great if…Imagine what it’ll be like when…These new conversations had intent and used a whole different language. We should start thinking about…when do you want to…

It was only then I realized that I didn’t want to. It didn’t come to me quite that clearly at first, but it was the first inkling I had that I definitely wasn’t ready right then to have children, and perhaps I never would be. I danced around the topic for a while, delaying the real discussion while I tried to sort through my feelings. My feelings. This was part of the problem. I’d been entwined with the same person for so long, it was difficult to discern which thoughts belonged to me versus those born out of ‘we’.

It took me a while to untangle the two, but I got there in the end. My husband was a good man, and part of me didn’t want to let that go, but we were moving in different directions.  Sometimes knowing what you want starts with knowing what you don’t want. It seemed I might finally be on my way.