I always thought I would have kids. I met my fave working at a summer camp, for Pete’s sake. It was always part of our plan.
Then, I couldn’t see the joy in anything. Things got complicated. I couldn’t see what I had to offer a child. Me who used to plan everything, stopped being able to plan. I just didn’t know. If I couldn’t be a parent, what did that mean for us? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
I once felt things deeply. Felt joyful, positive, connected things deeply. That was my religion. Then I didn’t feel any connection for a long time. I felt dead inside. Sometimes I think I am just beginning to understand how dead/sick I was.
I knew that I could not be a good parent having once known what that was like to feel “touched” and not feel that anymore. For me, it was not about worrying that I would be so depressed that I would truly neglect my child. I tend people. I know no matter how tired or unhappy I was, I couldn’t let a screaming baby cry. It was a matter of feeling empty while doing it. All of the heartache, stress, pain, and no joy. I would not do it.
Now, I’ve had a few tugs at my heart. The first few times it was really scary. “I don’t want to start feeling this if it is all going to get ugly again.”
A few months ago, my book club read Room, by Emma Donahue. [WOW. That book will stick with you.] At the discussion, (I was only asked to join this club a few months ago, and don’t know many people yet) one woman asked me if I was a mom. I stopped and said, “No, not yet.” I had a strange feeling, and almost said, “I am, but I don’t have kids yet.” Big tug.
We spent the day with a friend and her daughter, at our house. It felt really right. Not forced, just comfortable. I have these moments sometimes, I think Rosie O calls them “tingles.” It is looking at something and thinking, “that’s my favorite moment of the day.” It may only be 10am–but you know that’s pretty great. I was tickling 4 year old Adventure and Bingo was jealous–came up and gave her kisses, which made her laugh more. I said, thank you, Adventure, I think this is my favorite moment of the week, right here.
And, I thought, I can do this. This feels right. TUG.