Monday, August 25, 2008


Saturday evening we attended J's high school reunion. I met many interesting and friendly people. When I thought about it later, I realized that I hadn't met one woman who was not a mother or stepmother. (At least it seemed that way--it's possible I met one or two in passing who simply didn't reveal their parent or non-parent status to me.)

The next day, I went to my friend Fee's baby shower. She and her husband are adopting a beautiful little boy, and the highlight of the day was watching video footage of their first moments with him at the orphanage in Siberia. Their son is just a doll, and it was obvious how overjoyed they both were to meet him and finally spend time with him after months and months of waiting. There was barely a dry eye in the room while we watched Fee hold her son for the first time, and with a keen sense of comic timing for which I adore her, she narrated what happened in the next scene: "Oh, I'm not there at that point because I got really bad diarrhea. There wasn't any toilet paper in the bathroom so I had to wipe with face blotting papers, and then the toilet didn't flush."

(Her new son already fits in perfectly--in addition to the words "Mom" and "Pop," one of his favorite words is "Toot!")

This Saturday I'm attending my nephew's first birthday party, and already I'm hoping the week blasts by just so I can see him again and smell his soft baby head (which is already getting that Big-Boy-On-the-Go scent).

I've been on the fence about having kids for a long time, mostly because I wanted to push my book-baby (a miracle I've been waiting a lifetime for) out into the world first. And now that it's out, and I'm almost finished with the next book, what was once the quiet ticking of a tiny, temperamental wristwatch has evolved into the regular tocking of a very reliable clock on the wall.

Of my five other college friends in attendance at yesterday's baby shower, only two already had children; the rest of us were kind of whispering together about it, trying to gauge the plan for us 'late bloomers.' Solutions we discussed included the freezing of eggs, employing our younger sisters as surrogates, and well, that's about as far as we got because there were lots of adorable distracting babies at the shower who kept scooting up to our shoes and staring up at us: You want one of me, don't you?

Yes, but I also like sleeping 'til nine on a Monday morning and watching Bob Saget specials on HBO any time of the day.

To be continued, I'm sure ...


  1. My biological clock tends to act up in church. Yesterday, I think I sat in the cute baby zone. I had remind myself that stealing someone's child in a house of worship is inappropriate.

    Congrats to Fee!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Sleeping until nine on a Monday morning would be super swell.

    But... you can do that when they're old enough to pour their own cereal. In my experience, that ability is learned approximately 912 days. Fewer if you don't mind a few milk spots on your kitchen floor.

    As for Bob Saget... TiVo = Miracle.

    Good luck with whatever you decide! :)

  3. Yes, AND, most children go to bed early. So while you may not get to sleep as late, you can go to bed earlier. (My own children being the exception to this rule - they frequently stay up until 10:00 or later. But, they also tend to sleep later in the morning.)

  4. Anonymous12:10 PM

    With such a cute baby assault on your ovaries, it's no wonder you're thinking extra hard on it! It's not an easy decision--good luck!

  5. I wouldn't mind another baby, I gotta say, but I wouldn't want to have to birth it. My clock stopped ticking after our first (only) child, though, which was a good thing for us.

    It's such a difficult and personal decision to make. You've got access to babies and children, esp family, so you can get your fix and still sleep in if that's what you want.

    My personal philosophy is that if you don't NEED to have a baby, you shouldn't. They sure as hell are disruptive and expensive and loud. But if you NEED to have one (like I did...I felt like I would have died without her, actually), then by all means, go for it.

  6. I had my first child when I was 30 and my second at 35. I really wasn't ready before that. Not because of anything cool like writing a book, just wanting to have fun first.
    Now at 40 I am ready to work on my writing, finally! Both kids in full time school, yay!
    You'll have to do what you feel is right for you and your hus.
    I am looking forward to your second book!

  7. Anonymous1:54 PM

    I totally understand the Book Baby concept! I have been repeating the mantra, Book Before Baby, to myself as long as I can remember.

    It was great to meet you last week - what a delight to know another grant writer who also write books!

  8. I only like kids when I'm drunk it seems.
    Good thing I'm drunk alot.
    Ha ha hahahahaa... that's funny to me on so many levels.

    I like to think I'm just working it out of my system now.

  9. What a touching post, Jess! Well, here's my unsolicited advice: sleep deprivation is definitely prevalent in the early years...and later when you're waiting for them to come home. But that's a temporary thing. The kid is definitely permanent, even sometimes when you wish you stop worrying about them because they're adults, dammit! (OK, none of that was advice except to say, do what your gut tells you. There's only one right decision and it's the one you make for yourself.) Hugs from Brewtown which, this weekend, becomes Harleyville! If, by any chance, you're coming down for Harley Fest, e-mail me and I'll buy you a beer! (Or another cocktail of your choice!)

  10. Anonymous11:01 PM

    Well...having kids is great. The hardest work you'll ever do (not downplaying other kinds of work), but well worth it.

  11. Anonymous6:02 PM

    We've been going through the same thing, but I'm in my early thirties so it's starting to be a now-or-never thing. Sometimes that just makes the decision for you.

  12. I have been obsessed with the baby thing lately. All I have to say is, it is SO UNFAIR that men can wait as long as they want and women have to be on a clock. Boo!!

  13. Anonymous4:24 PM

    A woman at work once told me that having kids was the best thing and the worst thing that had happened to her. (Her kids were in elementary school at the time.) This kind of scared me. In the end, my hubby and I decided we were too selfish and lazy to have kids.

  14. I have to say, the same sorts of things have been on my mind lately, too.

    Part of me thinks I'm too selfish, and part of me remembers that I sometimes forget to let the dog in...what kind of mother does THAT???

  15. I'm going to chime in late and say, as someone who had her first child at 20 (AAAAHH!) it really is a tough job, but every phase has completely different positives and negatives. Sleep deprived at first? Yes. It does suck, but you look at your child and sort of forget about the sleep. I enjoy my children most of the time. I am sad that they are growing so fast, but also happy to have more time. When I get old and crusty though, I want to have someone around who gives a damn, besides my husband :)