A month ago, I was at the Verizon store upgrading the relic that was once my cell phone for the latest and greatest iPhone. While I was waiting, I saw this mom with her 10 year old-ish daughter, waiting around while the guy who was helping her was in the back (my theory is that the cell phone guys all get together in the break room and play ping-pong while they are "checking something with their manager"). So, I'm sitting here staring awkwardly this at this mom and daughter when, out of the blue, they embraced and all of a sudden, BAM, I want kids.
What the what? Kids have always made me nervous. There's only 3 1/2 years between me and my little brother, so I was never around super young siblings. Yeah, I babysat, but that was different...and I wasn't very old when I stopped babysitting. Kids just made me feel awkward- mostly little kids. I've never had a problem with the older variety. A few years ago I was asked to be a primary teacher at church and I just about had a panic attack. 2 hours every Sunday with half a dozen 6 year olds was very intimidating. But, I jumped in there and actually fell in love with those little buggers. Babies, though, whoo, babies made me even more uncomfortable than children. Fortunately though, my sister had a baby and my fear of them was quickly squelched after I realized it was really hard to kill them.
Let's be clear, I was never intentionally trying to kill babies, I was just under the impression that they were super breakable. After my nephew barfed straight down my shirt twice in a row though, I figured he must be made of tougher stuff than I originally gave him credit for, and we've been buddies ever since. Except when it comes to poopy diapers. He's on his own with that one.
The point is, I always figured that I'd have kids one day and it would be great, but I've never necessarily been baby hungry. Now, though, I get a lump in my throat if I'm watching something and a baby starts crying. For example, last week I rented "Thor" from Redbox- there's this part where Anthony Hopkins picks up this alien baby that's crying. By the grace of Anthony Hopkins, the alien baby suddenly transforms into a human baby, looks deeply into Tony's eyes, and stops crying. I was really confused though, because while the baby's face became calm, the crying had only gotten louder. And that's when I realized it wasn't the baby crying, it was me. Who am I?!
It doesn't even have to be babies, necessarily. I live across the street from an elementary school and when I go running in the mornings, I'm usually surrounded by hoards of little kids on their way to school. Despite the fact that I've got my music cranked up in my ears and I'm self-concious that my shorts are riding a little high, I find myself getting distracted by how cute these little kids are, wondering if they have happy lives, wanting to hug the one that's walking alone with his head down. Then suddenly, I've got a lump in my throat and I want to take them to my house and bake them all cookies filled with love and sprinkles.
Just kidding. I don't have any sprinkles.
Ugh, it's just the weirdest feeling though. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I thought a career would fulfill me, but I'm finding that the only thing that's truly fulfilling is your family and the people you fill your life with. Since my family lives in Arizona and I'm living on my own and usually hanging out solo, I've come to realize that most experiences just aren't as awesome as they could be if you had someone to share them with. I think it's taken "having it all" to realize that maybe "it" just isn't enough.
Don't get me wrong though- I'm happy with my life. I mean, really, when else am I going to be able to walk around my house naked and not worry about who sees me?