I’m a member of a forum where a woman just recently posted about her pregnancy. She had decided to become pregnant, got off of birth control and they were successful very shortly afterward. I was excited for her but I also felt something I’d never felt before when someone made one of those announcements:
Now, people who know me well are likely to say “Who are you and what did you do with the real Adriana*?”
Because they know how vehemently I denied wanting children up until a few months ago. Even I couldn’t ever have imagined a time when I would want kids. As a close friend put it
“Because you are/were the last person anyone expected to be jealous of that.”
And it’s true. Yet here I am. Jealous.
If it’s a shock to them, you better believe that it’s a shock to me. I had no idea. It’s like one day a switch just flipped and I caught a glimpse of the type of happiness that a child could bring. I felt it in my soul. Part of it has to do with the maturing I have had to do to face the issues with my relationship. I realized why I was only thinking of myself and now that I don’t have to do that, I am really looking forward to having to think about someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the reality is that parenting is hard but part of me is looking forward to do some hard work for the good of someone or something else.
The thing is, I’m only 24. I know this. And a lot of other people seem to know this because they point it out to me. You’re getting divorced? No problem! You’re young. You have lots of time to meet someone else! You want a baby, don’t have one yet! You need to get a degree, start a career, buy a house or invent a new car first.
And I appreciate the thought. I know it’s meant to make me feel better but I’m kind of impatient so it doesn’t really work. When I think about it, I know I haven’t even lived half my life, if I only live to be 50. I don’t know if it helps but it’s true.
But there’s something else going on there, too. A friend recently reminded me that I have always been “older” than my peers, in my head. I think it’s still true today. I expect people to act differently than they do because I forget, they’re only 24. They are still young. It’s no wonder they’re concerned about sports cars. Or hooking up. Or partying. Or things that just never mattered much to me because I somehow managed to skip the decade in which those things are the only things that matter. I generalize, I know. I apologize if you feel like I’m applying a stereotype to you. I just mean to say that I am the exception, not the rule. Sometimes I forget that. But when I remember it or explain it someone else, we both understand me much more.
What’s more. I kind of like feeling and thinking like this. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’m glad I’ve avoided some mistakes others have made (although, I’m not glad about my divorce). I’m just impatiently waiting for everyone else to join me. Maybe in 10 years they will. Maybe not.
Until then, I guess I still have plenty of time to work on that baby.
*They probably are using my real name.