My biological clock seems to be ticking a little louder these days.
Maybe it’s from following Emily’s pregnancy at The Waiting (who could be a new mom by now!). Maybe it’s my age. I am halfway to my 30th birthday. Or maybe it’s being over-the-moon-in-love with someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. Whatever the reasons may be – wait…there it is again! Can you hear it?
I’m starting to think about things I haven’t really thought about before. I wonder what kind of mother I’ll be. I think about my poor eyesight and family history of depression and anxiety, and I wonder if my future children (yes, I want more than one) will grow up to lovingly curse their gene pool as I have been known to do. I wonder if I will be able to improvise answers to the inexhaustible questions of a child. I think about what values and knowledge I have to impart, and wonder how badly I’ll screw it up. I wonder if I’ll loosen up as a mother and whether I’ll become a more confident person. I wonder if they’ll be musically inclined. I recognize with ever-increasing frequency the ways in which I’m like my mom. Perhaps, more than anything, I wonder how I will fare as a mother of more than one child when I myself have no siblings. I will be in completely foreign territory.
Like most other girls born in 1982, I had a Cabbage Patch doll. She looked like this:
Her name was Sarah, and I wished with every fiber of my being that she would magically come to life so that we could play together. Growing up an only child in the country, there weren’t many other kids nearby. It was lonely at times. I wanted a baby sister so badly, and I made that very clear to my mom. I will never forget the day I learned that would never happen. I was around 7 at the time, and I asked my mom if she was pregnant. She told me she wasn’t pregnant, just a little heavier than she used to be. She then went on to explain that she had had a special operation and wouldn’t be able to have any more babies. I was at once shocked and filled with grief. I ran to my room, laid face down on my bed, and cried. I would never have a younger sister or brother. I would never be a big sister to somebody. It would always just be me.
Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder how my life would be different with a sibling or two. How being a first-born instead of an only might have changed my personality. How my relationships with my parents might have been different. What our family dynamic would’ve been like. Whether I would still feel like a socially inept fool. But I digress.
I have no siblings, but I have the next best thing. One of my cousin’s and I are, and always have been, very close. She’s like a big sister and best friend rolled into one awesome person. My mom once told me she made the decision to have only one child because she couldn’t possibly imagine loving another as much as she loves me. I could write a short novel on my feelings about that, but this is neither the time nor the place. (I love my smother. I mean, mother.) To each her own.
I’m not ready to board the baby train yet. But I undeniably hear that clock a-tickin’.