Yesterday, after shopping for baby shower gifts for two of my girlfriends, I told my husband, Dan I wasn't sure I even wanted to keep trying to have a baby of our own anymore. I meant it.
Today, I told him I want to adopt a Guatemalan baby. I meant that too. And tomorrow, who knows where the wind may blow my fickle fertility preferences. It's all so very confusing.
I've been reading a lot of mommy blogs here lately. I like to say that I read them to "broaden my horizons", but really I think it's because I love torturing myself. Because every time I read a mommy blog, I'm jealous of the writers' poignant stories about finding the sacred in the midst of the mundane experiences of raising children. It seems like, for these ladies, raising kids has a way of putting things into perspective, and making them realize what really matters in life. It seems like they have a bird's eye view of the true meaning of our existence here on earth that I don't have access to.
I feel the same twinge of jealousy when I listen to my friends and coworkers and random strangers talk about their kids. They tell stories of the adorable and ridiculous things these tiny little humans do, and I can't help but feel like I live on some entirely different planet. I struggle to relate to them. The other day, some friends of mine, who are parents of young boys, were bemoaning the constant talk about penis etiquette in their homes. I cannot EVEN wrap my head around that one. The thought of Dan and I someday having these kinds of conversations in our home seems hilarious and impossible. This makes me feel like I'm missing out on something very strange and important.
But as I was worrying about not being in on the parenting gig, and wondering if I'm somehow missing the whole point, I realized that even though I'm not raising children, I have my own opportunities to find meaning, purpose, and grace in my life. I have my own people to love on. I have my own life to live. And even though God has chosen not to put any little ones in it for now, that doesn't mean that I can't keep evolving as a human being. I realized that my major opportunities for love and growth are in my relationships and my work.
So I choose to focus on those things. I will keep on putting my heart and soul into my marriage and my friendships and my family and my job and my writing and my art. And I will keep on loving my mommy friends and listening to their stories and learning from them. And who knows, maybe someday I will have a little Guatemalan baby of my own and I can join in on that strange and important adventure.
© Haley McManigal 2015
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