If you had asked me ten years ago , when I thought I would get married (because in college this is the kind of question you ask) my answer would have been, “If I get married, I’ll probably be in my mid-thirties.”I know the person I was picturing: a more practical Sex in the Cities type career woman, living in New York City, focusing on writing and her career, dating but not letting it get in her way. In my mind, this person has always just walked down the stairs from her brownstone towards her sky scraper office. She’s even wearing heels.
If you had asked me if I thought I would have kids my answer would have been uncertain. It was hard to imagine not having children- whether that’s because that is the typical, “expected” path or because that’s what I wanted… it’s hard to say. My heel-wearing vision didn’t seem on that path but was I?
But life is not what my twenty-year old self expected. I never learned to like heels and the rat race of New York City didn’t end up appealing to me. As it turns out I’m too social to want to be an editor and Sex in the City isn’t all it was cracked up to be (did you see Sex in the City movie sequel? Yikes).
I traveled the world when I might have been working towards that corner office. I found my career by happenstance not by over planning. Dating didn’t get in my way as I feared it might, instead it led me to a wonderful person. This fall we’ll celebrate two years together.
In December, shortly after our second anniversary we’ll also be expecting our first child. We’ve completely planned this and yet I find it a total surprise. Each day I look down to find a growing belly and think, “Is that mine?” At another point in my life I wasn’t sure I wanted kids. I certainly didn’t feel pregnancy was an experience I needed to go through the way many women do. Of most of my long time friends, I was always the least sure about a life with kids. How would I travel? How would I maintain my identity? How would I not only share my life but dedicate my life to someone else and still feel complete?
But I will travel with a baby strapped to my chest (and keep my distances short!) and my identity will continue to evolve the way it has over the past thirty years. My life has become more joyful with every person I have ever shared a part of it with and this will certainly take the cake.
I cannot yet wrap my mind around how our lives will change even as I try to imagine both wonderful and challenging baby scenarios. Lately it feels like people are constantly asking me questions in which I am forced to try to imagine what it is like to be a parent. While I may have tried to imagine this before (either to help someone figure out a situation or in a self-righteous “when I have children I’ll never do that” moment) now that I am truly faced with imagining parenthood, I now feel that I have no idea what I’m talking about. It feels like I am on the edge of an abyss and any minute I will jump in and find out what everyone has been talking about but for the time being I’m still up top, left only with my ideas.
For now it’s the two of us watching in wonder as our lives evolve, a growing addition and an app that tell us what type of produce it’s the size of. This week we are an avocado which I find particularly endearing. Please google images for “baby avocado.” You’ll thank me later. It’s even better than you would have hoped.
Here’s the basics in case you’re wondering:
- Our due date is December 14.
- We will not be finding out the sex. This is partly because it will be fun, partly because it drives my sister crazy (love you Jamie!) and has the bonus of helping us avoid gifts of princess outfits or Tonka truck type clothes.
- No matter what happens, I will not let Tyler name the baby Bubba Earl. Poor Tyler.