I got a little drunk last night and admitted to my husband that what I really want to do with my life is work on my writing and spend my days playing and teaching and being terrorized by the children we don’t have yet. I remember his smile now with relief, and hope that I didn’t through a film of inebriation channel terror into tolerance.
I don’t know when I became the sort of person who wants to serve baby trees instead of broccoli, and while I’m not sure I have the patience to bake bread with a preschooler, I don’t think that will stop me from trying. I imagined myself as any number of things when I was growing up, but a mother was never one of them. I liked to play college with my Barbies – admittedly, they spent most of their time hanging out in the dormitories I built for them, and not so much in class – and while the collegiate adventures of Courtney and Skipper were not even in the smallest way realized when I was an undergraduate, it was still a sort of inevitable dream for me, acquiring a degree. That I’d claw the eyes out of anyone who tried to keep me from getting my education, including my own when laziness or poorly distributed schedules threatened, didn’t make it any less of a dream. It was what I’d always wanted.
When I graduated, though, I remember one of the things I thought was that at least then if I were to become accidentally pregnant, my life wouldn’t be over. I feared more having a child and having to give up the pursuit of my degree more than anything, including the zombie apocalypse. That I’m not afraid anymore, or at least not as afraid, would’ve seemed to me as unlikely as needing to take out the stairs in Collins Hall and defend myself with my acoustic guitar (I hadn’t read Max Brooks yet). But I was, and now I’m not (as much).
My husband’s response to me was, following the smile, that I’d start writing childrens’ books if we had children, to which I informed him that I can’t indulge in page upon page of sexual tension in childrens’ books or carve out hearts or curse, so.