Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Life should come with disclaimers

There are a few things I wish someone had told me. Like the pregnancy thing. I was raised amongst people who believed - or at least said they believed - that pregnancy is a wonderful thing. These were the 'glowing' type of people, the 'blossoming' and 'fulfilled' kind who talk about acts of creation and wonder and things. Which means that if, like me, you're an unhappy pregnant woman you start to feel like there's something wrong with you. I do wish some kind soul had taken me aside and said - look, if you're the kind of person who is willing to be sick for about a day and after that has no more patience with the sick thing and wants to be up and doing something, then it's just possible you won't enjoy pregnancy all that much.

Kirk understood that stuff though.

One summer my parents (note this down as one of those reasons why my parents have visible nimbuses and are on the sainthood shortlist) took the two oldest children out of state with them for an entire week. That was amazing enough, but then one of Kirk's childhood friends took the youngest child for a full night (I think it was a practice parenthood thing - either that or a save-the-sanity-of-the scary-people thing) which meant that for a whole day and a whole night we were, for the first time since 10 months into our marriage, ALONE.

We were lying on the grass waiting for a tennis court to free up at 11 at night, and it was fantastic - so fantastic that I was thrown into unbelievable parental guilt. Until Kirk turned to me and said, 'isn't it awful - this feels so amazingly good that I wish we had never had kids.' And because he could say it, and we talked about it, it was okay. The youngest came back the next day and was cute and funny and good to be around, and the older two returned not much later and we were happy to see them.

But it's important to note that, while you love them, there are times when you don't want to be a parent. And that's just fine. Because before you were mom and dad you were friends and lovers, and before even that you were your own self. And now and then it's good to remember that, because sometime those kids will be gone and that, too, is a good thing.

1 comment:

Dee said...

I know exactly how you feel. I too have had the fleeting wish when alone with himself that things were still as simple as they were before Rhiannon.