Friday, March 07, 2008

Hitting the indefinite snooze button on my biological clock.

This Sunday is my niece Samantha's 1st birthday (see above).

The time I get to spend time with she and my nephew is priceless and important to me. They surprise my every day and when I'm with them, I surprise myself.

My brother called me two days ago to invite me to Sam's birthday party on Sunday and out of nowhere said, "You know Meg, I have to tell you, without blowing smoke up your ass or feeding you a bunch of platitudes, you are by far the best with the kids out of everyone in the family."

"Whoa, where did that come from?" I said.

He replied, "You don't expect anything from them. Not a smile, not a hug when you walk in. You just let them be who they are and don't try to manipulate their affection. They really respond to you and I think you *get* my kids more than anyone else. I think you are going to be an excellent mother."

Out of nowhere this candid conversation with my brother happened and tears started to well in my eyes. Same reaction the first time my nephew told me he loved me.

We were sitting on my mom's couch with the whole family watching the Oscars. My nephew Jack had just instructed me to "get comfy" with him on the couch, meaning he wanted me to tuck him into the "soft blanket" on my mom's couch and cuddle up together. "Auntie Megan, GET COMFY" he demanded.

So we settle in and I put my hat on his head. Out of nowhere, he turns to me and says, "I love you" and opens his arms wide to bear hug me. I barely stuttered out an "I love you too, Jack" before I was again, unexpectedly in tears.

Everyone on the couch "awwwed" and "ohhhhed" and my brother just smiled at me, but I was seriously moved. That's never happened to me before.

I don't know, more or less in the past ten years I've decided that I might be too selfish to ever have kids.

Two weeks ago I was dogsitting for my sister while she spent a weekend with the guy she's dating. Before you roll your eyes and think, "that's nothing like having a child, you idiot", hear me out.

The first few hours I was very reliable, taking her out when she scratched at the door, making sure she got her exercise and giving her the attention she required, but the last night it started to wear on me. As I gazed into her glossy brown eyes I realized...this dog is totally dependent on me.

And where that might be a complete revelation and desire for some people, for me, it was really kind of a turn off. I mean, I want *to want* to have kids, I really do.

I guess I'm just not "motherly". I don't have any kind of second sense or intuition. I'm not patient, unconditionally kind or nurturing. Even in my own relationships, I seek out people that don't require a whole lot from me and run the opposite direction at the first sign of co-dependence.

Even though I hated, hated being in a long distance relationship for four years, there was something about it that always worked for me. A certain freedom that I enjoyed that most couples in relationships don't get a chance to explore.
I need that freedom in my life. In my relationships.

I need to be able to stay out until 3:30 a.m. without having to worry if the dog has peed all over the carpet. If I decide to take a spur of the moment road trip, I don't want to have to plan in advance, pay the sitter, leave instructions.

And when I want to be alone, I want to be alone.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my niece and nephew, I think that's obvious to anyone. I find them both fascinating and there really is something to that "love at first sight" feeling. I would tear your still-beating heart right out of your chest if you hurt them.


There's that ever present "but".

Maybe I'm just not there yet and maybe I'll never get there, but it's hard enough taking care of myself.

I don't eat right. I don't get enough sleep. I drink way too much to be considered responsible. I forget to do things like make dentist appointments and take my vitamins. I leave food in the fridge past its date and I don't pick up after myself. I spend way too much money on shoes and not enough on groceries. I come and go as I please and I do it without mention to where I'll be. I don't send cards to my relatives on their birthdays. And subsequently, I don't feel guilty when I receive their cards. I sleep until after noon on the weekends and sometimes I don't even change out of my pajamas all day. If its a choice between me and you, nine times out of ten, I'll usually choose me, but I'll make it look like an accident. I have like eleven credit cards, all of which I use frequently. I don't save money and I hate when people call me "just to check up".

But then there's those two kids whose expectant gazes just melt my heart.

Could there be hope for me yet?


ellekinzy said...

a) OMG cutest pic ever, adorable

b) you summed it for me, gorgeously written post.

dmbmeg said...

I want to put your niece in my pocket.

Also, don't sell yourself short. What you call "selfishness" I would guess is just you being young. Just cause we're able to have babies at this age doesn't mean we should.

You got time, and you may change your mind. Or you might not.

Never thought I'd say this, but your brother has a point. You're the same way with your friends. You don't expect anything of them, you just accept them for who they are and what they can give. That's hard to find in people.

Peter said...

Happy birthday, Samantha!

My adorable little niece is in town for a few days.

"Even though I hated, hated being in a long distance relationship for four years, there was something about it that always worked for me."

Oh, man... I starred in that movie. I always feel guilty for admitting it though.

country roads said...

You're so much like me...

except prettier. :-)

Irish and Jew said...

A good friend of mine hated hated hated kids. I mean abso was like "I am way to selfish for children" and like you, myself and the majority of booze hound females I surround myself with she never thought she'd be a good mother.

Then she accidently had a son and became the worlds most amazing mother and PLANNED a second child a year later.

And now I know that deep down even if its deep deep down us females have that motherly instinct.

I think you will surprise yourself one day. :)


Hellafied said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, everyone!

JenBun said...

That last long paragraph totally describes me... and yet... I want one... someday, I guess.

That really made me think that "someday" may be farther away than I thought... and I'm OK with that.