I like kids – I used to volunteer at my church’s nursery long ago. Later on I worked at a Preschool, then as a summer camp counselor for grades K-6, then co-teaching a kindergarten enrichment program, and finally I pursued a degree in Elementary Education and made it through part of the student teaching process. The teaching thing was something I sort of forced myself to do. I always wanted to be a writer, but I was pressured by family to major in something that didn’t say “starving artist.” I didn’t know what else to do but I liked kids and always got good grades…so teaching made sense. I was almost through the program and had a little less than 2 semesters left. One day as I finished writing an essay and some lesson plans I took a look ahead at what my life might be like as a teacher.
I would put my all into being creative and teaching the little ones. I knew once I got home the work wouldn’t stop there. I’d be thinking and worrying about the next day, the next week, etc. Even during summers off I’d be obsessing over the next school year. I knew it would drain me and there would be no time for writing, my true love. What’s more, I despised writing lesson plans. I’m a perfectionist, too –planning lessons down to a T was driving me NUTS. I like to have a plan, and I don’t do improv very well.
So while I was sitting in front of my computer at home, planning lessons and making sure they met various benchmarks from the curriculum, I had an epiphany: stop doing this – and start doing what you love, right now. So I stopped going and dropped out that very second. I immediately enrolled in a creative writing program at a different school and knew I was in the right place. I flourished, I glowed with pleasure, and my heart beat happily in my chest.
Oh yes, PREGNANT. I’m sure you were wondering when I’d get to this. The first 3 paragraphs were just letting you know I like children – BUT…the thought of giving birth has always horrified me. I never grew up yearning to have children and the perfect family. I never fantasized about weddings. Instead, I dreamed about decorating a cool house and having lots of cats. Traveling a lot, making art, and writing awesome stories. And maybe I’d meet a nice guy and this situation would eventually blossom into a beautiful relationship and perhaps…oh who knows.
Now back to being preggers. I always imagined it like Alien – the science fiction horror film series. This life growing inside of you is like a parasite, feeding off of you. It might not make you feel that great, either. Then it BURSTS out of you (not out of your chest, but somewhere much worse) and there’s blood, goo, and lots of pain. And the creature that comes out isn’t even that pretty (it will be later, but when it first comes out it’s a wrinkly, red, screeching little thing).
“Oh no,” mothers tell me. “It’s a beautiful thing. It changes you. It’s amazing! Once you hold that baby in your arms the first time, you’ll see.” I have no doubt this is true. But it’s the point leading up to that touching Kodak moment that I’d like to skip. I’d rather be put to sleep and have a C-section!
Now don’t get your feathers all ruffled and your buns all buttered. I am not pregnant, I never was pregnant, and who knows if I ever will be. Unfortunately I’m an only child and my parents really want grandkids someday. I could always adopt but they wouldn’t like that…they want me to continue the blood line. The whole thing just gives me the creeps. I think I’ll stick with the cats for now.
What provoked this nightmarish post was the abundance of babies everywhere on facebook. Ultrasound photos, progress, newborns, all that jazz. I’m happy for my friends and their little ones, but I don’t go googoo gaga over babies. I feel really uncomfortable at baby showers. The whole parasite thing gives me the heebie jeebies. Being a host for 9 months, going to the doctor frequently to get poked and prodded in my privates?! I’ll pass! The little human inside eats up your food and energy storage. Sometimes babies can even cause harm to the mother before or during pregnancy. The world is overpopulated as it is, and sometimes I’m sure I won’t contribute. Then I see a happy family together and a little glimmer of desire shines deep inside. Then again, I know several women who never had any children and now are too old to have them. These women live on my mom’s street, and some work where I do. They seem perfectly happy with their animals and their lives. Meanwhile I’m growing older.