Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
I’m at an age now where I’m apparently supposed to be feeling the “pull” of my biological clock. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’m pretty sure I was absent the day those were passed out.
Since this same time last summer 10 of our friends, family members, and co-workers have either gotten pregnant, had a baby, or begun the adoption process. And every time a new baby shows up, I truly believe that this time, I’m going to”get” it. I’ll be around this precious new life, and my own maternal whatever-it-is will finally just kick right in.
Instead, it usually goes something like this:
Someone sends out pictures of their new baby.
Other people’s response: “Oh, what a sweet baby.”
My response: “Wow! That looks just like a tiny, enraged monkey.”
Or, someone has brought their new baby over to show it off.
Everyone else thinks, “Oh, I want to hold the baby!”
I think…Nothing. Because I am frozen in panic. Because I know the second I touch that child everyone in the room will see that being around a baby isn’t making me want one of my own. And then my secret will be out. I am a girl, and I don’t want a baby.
Although truthfully, it really isn’t that much of a secret. Even babies know I’m not a baby person.
Once when I was in my early 20’s my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I were visiting friends who were in the process of moving. Because I was a girl (and, admittedly, not much help in the heavy lifting area), I got elected to stay with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter. Everything was fine at first but then she needed her diaper changed, and despite being a competent, college-educated young adult, I had never before changed anyone’s diaper. As a matter of fact, I am 32 years old and I have STILL never changed anyone’s diaper. (I know; some people are just lucky).
Anyway, this poor child was so desperate to have her diaper changed that she spent the last 30 minutes or so before her parents got home walking into her room, pulling diapers out of the bag herself, and bringing them to me in an effort to get the process started. Those were some of the longest 30 minutes of my life. It’s a pretty low day when your personal competency is exceeded by that of a 2-year-old.
So the fact that I’m well into my 30’s and this baby thing just isn’t kicking in for me has got me to thinking: what if I just don’t have it? What if, just like there are some people who can’t see certain colors, or some people who can’t hear certain tones, or some people who are missing the gene that allows you to curl your tongue, there are just some people who are born not wanting to have babies? What if, instead of spending all of my time worrying that I am some kind of aberrant freak of nature because I’m female yet have no desire to reproduce, I could let myself off the hook about this, and start noticing what I AM good at?
Because the truly ironic part of this story is that, while I get brain-freeze around anyone under 12 years old, I am TERRIFIC with teenagers. Just at the point when most people throw up their hands and no longer have any idea what to do, that is exactly the point where I have become somewhat of a pro-a natural, if you will.
I suspect that the reason I was missing from the biological clock line was that I was first in line at the “Talking To Teens” station. After seeing everyone who was waiting over in that other line, I knew that one day they were all really going to need my help.
You know, there is a great need for foster and adoptive parents of teenagers. Maybe you’d be really good at that. (I confess, I’s *always* wanted to have children since I was a little kid. The fact that my husband knew more about babies than I did was a great frustration*. The fact that he gets to be a stay at home Dad is cool for him but I wish it could be me. But, I have other friends like you, so I know it’s not strange and unusual. Just cuz some of us can’t want to have kids doesn’t mean everyone feels that way. *His parents have been foster parents since he was 2. So, anyway, foster/adoption of teenagers…think about it!)
Thanks, AnnMarie. I never would’ve thought of that. I really do like helping teenagers. 🙂
Ms. Q says
“”Wow! That looks just like a tiny, enraged monkey.”
hahaha! That’s how I feel about them, too. I went through the same “shouldn’t the alarm be going off on my biological clock by now?” in my early 30s. I’m 42 now.
I had a knee-jerk desire for children when I was younger. When age 32 rolled around I was living alone and my career was beginning to take off. I realized I wasn’t all that het up to find an old-fashioned sperm donor or make a withdrawal from the sperm bank.
I tend to back away slowly when it comes to children. Despite the fact that they are shorter than I. Most people above the age of 8 are taller.
I think I’ll have to write a post about this myself!
I tend to back away slowly when it comes to children.
Yeah, me too 😛