Monday, August 18, 2008

A Life of Uncertainty

All of you, thank you for responding to “Indecision.” I don’t know if it’s the case that neither of us has the courage to go first and say “Hey let’s do this,” or “Hey, let’s not do this.” Just yesterday Todd joked that we’ll be in the old folks’ home when we’re in our 80’s still trying to decide. He turned to me, sucked his lips in as if he’d lost his teeth and said in a perfect imitation of an old man, “So, devil woman, you think we should have a baby?” I cracked up over it, because he says that when he's old he's going to call me Devil Woman, and say things like "Git me my tonic, Devil Woman!" I tried not to pay attention to the way the question made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and the way I feel the question looming behind me all the time, sometimes more so than other times.

I think it’s such a permanent decision. And no matter which way you go you just cannot undo it. I almost want the decision to be taken out of my hands by either a surprise pregnancy or learning that either of us is infertile. Almost.

Just last week I was talking to a co-worker who said something very interesting about the way he makes his decisions. He has a very interesting way of looking at life, and I find him very wise. He said that he looks to nature to help him decide. ‘What would normally occur in nature?’ he asks himself. I thought about it for a few minutes, and we got to talking about it. He said “Well, in nature animals reproduce all the time and our bodies are designed to reproduce and perpetuate our specie.” Then I asked him, “Well, OK, but is it in my nature?” Then I threw up my hands in frustration.

Todd and I talk all the time about things we’d do with are theoretical and non-existent children. We look at other families we know, and talk about how they live and what, if anything, we’d do differently. Would we switch to all organic foods like my sister did? Would we spank our theoretical and non-existent children? Would they ever eat anything produced at McDonalds? These are things we discuss all the time. He jokes that we’ll name our daughter Chlamydia so that the boys won’t go near her, and call her “Clammy” for short. We can talk about all this stuff, but still cannot come to a conclusion about whether any of it (aside from the name Clammy) will ever be a reality for us.

From what I’ve observed, being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and you don’t ever get a vacation from it. Is that what I want in my life? But, the hardest job also brings the biggest reward, doesn’t it? Will I look back on a childless life and regret it? Will I look back on a life with a child and regret not having the freedom that childless life allows? It's not like I can give birth, try it out, then return it like I would with a car that turns out to be a lemon.

I agree with the sentiment that I’ll know it when I am ready. I am struggling with the concept of having a feeling that I am not already familiar with. When I fell in love with Todd it was a feeling I was unfamiliar with too. And everyone else around me who was falling in love and getting married all said the same thing “You’ll just know if he’s the right one,” and that’s the same thing I say to other people when they talk about elusive concept of “the one.” I am sure that it’s the same thing--I’ll feel it in my gut.

But really I want to know if I will ever feel it. I really want to know how it’ll all play out before I step onto the field.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like a surprise pregnancy to get you "ready" for parenthood! lol

August 18, 2008 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, or convince you for once and for all that you absolutely are not ready. LOL

August 18, 2008 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think the surprise pregnancy would take care of the issue once in for all :)

August 19, 2008 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Cece and Jen--nice way to show me both sides of the coin. Hey, what's this under me? Oh yeah, it's the fence.

Heidi--with our current birth control a surprise would be very hard to pull off. And it wouldn't be a surprise, it would be a conscious choice. One that I cannot seem to make.

August 20, 2008 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger seven of seven said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog. Glad to have found it. :) I am 43 y/o and do not have children. The struggle to decide what to do is HUGE. I never got "that thing" that other women get. I don't know why.

Mostly, I didn't worry about it, but sometimes it was paramount to decide what to do/not do.

I am now, finally, secure in my decision not have children. I never really wanted to. I just thought that maybe I was missing out on something and that I had better do it or else face a miserable old age.

I don't know why some of us don't get that "thing." I have to call it a quote-unquote thing because I do not know what it feels like to want a child.

I feel for you. It's a tough thing not to have the thing!

August 22, 2008 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Seven, Welcome! Thank you for stopping in to read.

And thank you for what you said. I think I get a fleeting "thing" usually when I see kids who are just great people and I think, 'Well, Todd and I could do that!' My thing usually comes in packages that have "I want to have a child that I can teach to sail and to enjoy the world as much as I do." I don't go googly over a new baby like other women do.

But kudos to you for recognizing that you do not have the thing. And you're right, some people don't have it. I wonder if mine will reveal itself or not. *Looking at my watch and looking around me as if I am expecting the thing to arrive on the next bus.*

August 22, 2008 at 5:59 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home