How strong am I? Forget visible muscle definition or the amount of weight I can possibly bench press if I were to ever try.
What I mean is, can I juggle toddler, stroller, large bag full of necessities such as extra pair of pants, underwear, wipes, books, snacks, water…and can I hold onto all of this while reaching into back pocket to retrieve wallet where metro card lives in order to swipe us through. And can we make it through turnstile in time before it clicks closed.
I have met many women who feel the urge to produce. It’s more of a yearning. A need to push freshly squeezed baby out from between thighs after nine months of baking inside of body. A need to feel/see their genetics drip out from various movements or gestures. They want to experience the birthing process full-force. I have never been this person.
There have been times in my life I put myself at risk for procreating. But this is not about that. This is about feeling what it feels like to be a mother (or appear to be a parent/guardian) to the gentlest little boy I call nephew as we searched through an entire day together: one adventure at a time.
Here is something: as a childless human, I travel everyday and watch other people’s children on the subway on the streets in the grocery store in museums. I notice the variety of energy levels and communication skills. Some parents soothe the cries from high-pitched screams to laughter. Some look away and have lost the ability to remain calm. I try hard to notice, rather than judge. As a non-parent my voice/ my opinion is weightless.
So on this magical day of exploration with my nephew, I realized how hard a parent must work just to get on a subway or fill time while we wait to get into filled-to-capacity children’s museum.
I have always adored children; took care of other’s as a nanny for many years. I wonder –especially now as body tick tick ticks toward that time– why I still have no desire to birth.
As an aside, I fear my genetics.
Between you and me, I cannot afford my own care; how can I possibly afford another’s.
Does it depend on partners and love and if I met the right one would I want to make babies now now now?
Could it be that none of the partners I choose produce sperm and I’ve yet to make any of my own so so so….it’s going to be slightly more complicated than just waking up pregnant one day.
A woman…a mother…helps me up the two flights of stairs at Bergen Street with sleeping nephew in stroller and I do not ask, she offers. We wouldn’t want to wake him, she said.
I wonder all day if people think I am his mom and I like people thinking I am responsible enough or brilliant enough to produce this earth-warming boy.
I’ve thought about adoption. Maybe when I am ready if I’m ever ready. Because when my womb aches is when I’m with children who will make up songs with me for over an hour while we wait to get inside a museum. Or a boy I know who lives by the mountains in Boulder, Colorado who finds as much joy in farmer’s markets as I do. Or two great kids in Denver who devour books like cake.
My ears are clean, so when the ticking starts, I’ll hear it. And I’ve got health insurance in my future and soon I’ll have my own place and maybe maybe maybe sperm will just be a formality because maybe love (when it exists and when it’s prepared) can produce a life too.