Turning the page

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away…

Oops, wrong story. Here’s mine:

A while back – like, four years ago, which is EONS in Internet time, Kira got her eyes lasered, and I waxed poetically, albeit enviously, about how I understood her decision completely and wished I was getting my eyesight fixed too.  Of course, I didn’t, mainly because, hello, that-money-could-should-will-be-spent-elsewhere, but, you know, I still had – and have – a case of laser-envy.

Guess what Kira did this spring? She had a baby. This lovely little baby called Sophia, who is brilliant and charming and pretty, and the perfect girly punctuation mark to a trio of three older brothers.

~~>crickets

Yeah, I’m not having a baby either.  And I don’t plan to, but wow, it’s been weird inside my head lately.

The decision to close that chapter of our lives was made some time ago – the “baby” here is 12, and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of sort-of beginning to appreciate my “big girls” as adults and all the wonderful, interesting things that means to the mother-daughter relationship.  They – except “the baby” – are through high school, and paying their own cell phone bills and making life decisions,  and my next car will not have to be a minivan. It’s all pretty good. Really.

But I keep seeing myself with a baby, and wondering, is it so crazy to wonder if that was the right choice to make? And the answer, of course, is  yes – it is a little crazy.  Ok, a lot crazy.  So I’m going to chalk these weird ideas up to my mind’s way of coping with a transition that, as much as I’m ready for it, embracing it even, I’m a little sad about.  And a little scared about.

I have never been Super Mom. As much as my life has been about raising kids, lo, these last 20 years, it’s been about other things too – discovering my own unique talents and interests, growing as a person, sharing a set of long-term dreams with my husband.  I’ve never been one of those moms who’s spent the time away from the kids in some kind of holding pattern, waiting for them to return home from school so that I could ply them with cookies and help them with their homework.

So it’s never just been about the kids. But now, as the backdrop of Brownies and baseball and bedtime stories begins its final fade, I’m wondering, what next? There have been several times in recent weeks where I’ve found myself completely alone in the house, in sole possession of the remote control, a hundred books on the shelf to read for hours without interruption, and there I am, thinking: ok, this is fun, but where is everyone and when are they coming home?

Or maybe I’m just scared that when there are no more excuses – no more distractions – I might just have to sit down and write something. And what if I can’t? Because  I can’t figure out where the words went, and on nights like tonight, that makes me want to cry.

So, no, I don’t really want a baby. Really not. Although babies are great. But I’ve had great babies. It’s just not knowing what comes next  – and how to make it great – that’s scaring the heck out of me.

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One Response to “Turning the page”

  1. Kira Says:

    Want to hear something funny? Being pregnant again slightly messed up my newly perfect vision.
    I guess nothing’s perfect.
    I wonder all the same things – who will I be on the other side? What will I have to say?
    fwiw, I’m gobsmacked at the thought of you worrying that you won’t be able to write. To me, at least, you simply are a writer.

    ps I’m reading “Vanishing Acts” on your recommendation, and LOVING it. Thanks

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