There's a train rolling by, and I'm not on it.
It's filled with pacifiers and dance recitals and an endless supply of shoes.
This train is packed with responsibility and life-long commitment.
The train is ever present. And yet, I do not get on.
It runs beside me, filled with close friends and family members.
I'm often asked when I will be getting on. But I know that answer, I wont.
Because I know that this is a ride that never ends.
And though it may look exciting, I rather enjoy my leisurely strolls.
I have plenty of friends (real and cyber) that are moms. And they enjoy it. There are new moms, old moms, moms of twins and multiple children and moms of only child's. Moms who have adopted. And moms who have struggled with infertility. I know that for some, being a mother is their life's goal.
And yet, because of this, I feel as if maybe I'm missing something. Even though I know the thing I'm missing is something that I don't want. Like when a friend orders something off the menu that you would never in a million years choose, and yet, you can't help but stare at their plate. And while I'm perfectly happy with my order, I can't help but wonder.
Would I be a good mom? Would our kids' friends like us? Would I buy a ridiculously oversized camera and trot my daughter out like a show pony while she stood in an over-priced, bedazzled costume that barely covers her baby bits in front of a sea of strangers? Would our house be the 'party place,' where the kids think that we just might be cool enough to buy them alcohol? (which, we totally wouldn't) Would I find that being a mom is more important than being me?
Would I be a too dedicated mom? Would I look up one day and realize that my husband and I are nothing more than grown up sister and brother? Would I lose my obnoxious charm, only to be replaced with plain obnoxiousness? What would I look like behind the wheel of an SUV, or God-forbid – a minivan? Would my dinners turn from made-from-scratch enchiladas and pasta to bowls of cold cheerios?
I think about these things and it makes me sad. Not because I want them. But because society makes me feel as if I should. That I'm not 'doing my part' because I'm not populating the earth. But last I checked, there were too many of us anyway. And frankly, I like my vacations. And I love my two-door car. And I couldn't really imagine kids brushing their teeth in my spare bath, tiny feet planted on cold slate, reaching up over the decorative lip of the sink. I just don't see it.
Last night, I went to my Little's dance recital. And the experience made me hyperventilate a bit. These tiny girls, so unsure of themselves, wearing more glitter than I have ever worn in my entire life. Dancing on a stage where I have seen my favorite band play. Parents pushing by to get a better view, to point cameras bigger than those toted by paparazzi. Many of these girls were too young to even know what was going on. Their 'handlers' stood off in the wing, showing them the moves. Much of their dance was spent facing the side of the stage, only mimicking what was being done at that moment. The whole thing made me queasy.
I just don't get it.