My heart spoke this last night as I was sleep stalking Mali and just now again, it crossed my mind. That's always when I know it should be blogged. Here goes...
There are all these posts geared to women with children. Often, when I repost a link talking about parents, or kids, I think about my childless peers. And I feel bad for rubbing my (not even close to perfect) family-focused posts in their face (that's not what I'm doing, but...) Sometimes I feel guilty for having a baby and kids and constantly posting about them and pictures. Recently a friend of mine posted a status because someone else was annoyed with her posting pics of her baby. It had me thinking "Who would be annoyed with that?" I don't know how those kinds of posts make a childless woman feel, but I can imagine (on a bad day), it could get annoying when someone always posts about their kids. Maybe they don't have kids and want kids of their own, maybe they lost a baby and are hurting, maybe they can't ever have children and it's a reminder for them. I couldn't understand someone annoyed with baby pictures at first, but I have been trying to step outside of my own shoes and find compassion for people when I wouldn't otherwise understand their view. And as I was thinking about my newest addition, who is 13 years after my 1st child, I think to myself (and I'm saying out loud to you now)... it's perfect NOW. You have time.
I had my daughter when I was a 17 years young, a teenager, just starting my own life. And I was a good mom even then, I never starved her or put her in danger. I wasn't some reckless teen mom. No one looked at me and thought, "that girl should not have children!" Actually, it was always the exact opposite. My daughter was perfect. I had the opportunity to nurture and raise other children just based off my responsibility as a parent to her. Throughout my 20's I was thinking, this is it right here! This is when people should have children. I'm still young and energetic, I can relate to her. I will have my life back by the time I'm 40, then the living can really begin. I was done!
I married a man with children and considered (maybe even planned) to not have any more. I thought we would finish raising the ones we had and then live happily ever after. I don't think he ever really agreed on that. He decided another one together would be perfect, but twice we were pregnant, and twice I lost the baby. At that point, I really knew it was not for me. No more trying, no more kids, no more failed pregnancies. I didn't even want to try anymore. (I also didn't do anything to prevent him from trying..) Cue Mali! I got pregnant again this last time right before I was to turn 30. I didn't get my hopes up, I wasn't excited. I was almost, dare I say it, disappointed. I didn't want to sacrifice my life anymore, I didn't want to sacrifice my body, I didn't want the heart ache of another failed pregnancy. I was just really disconnected. After I got past the 12 week mark, I still didn't get excited, but I began to accept that it just might happen. I don't really recall when I came around.
I spent a lot of my time in the doctor's waiting area though. Either I'd had a bleeding scare, lack of fetal movement fears, or those "the doctor wants to monitor you regularly" appointments had me constantly there. I had at least 10 ultrasounds and an appointment every 2 weeks. How could I not accept there was a baby coming when my whole pregnant life was spent focusing on baby?
He's here now, in all his baby perfection. Sometimes I just sit and hold him and stare at him. I talk to him all the time about life and love, friendship and food. Idk if there's anything he and I don't discuss. Jerry is the topic of a lot of our conversations. Mali is so infatuated by Jerry, I'm jealous. Jerry can ignore Mali all day, but whenever he's in eye range, Mali is staring him down, just waiting... and waiting. Eventually I say "Mali, your daddy isn't as aware of you as I am, you have to call him. Say Daaaddddy! Daddy!" Jerry finally looks over and Mali just smiles. At night when I am dead tired and Mali is wide awake, it doesn't even matter that it's 3 am and I have to get up in the morning. If he's not even thinking about falling back to sleep, I just tell him "I guess now is as good a time as any to have some quality time." He smiles, I smile. What time is it again? It doesn't even matter. And when that 5:30 a.m. alarm goes off, yes I am tired and I hate the sound of it, but I get up and I function. I am still alive and happy. Sleep, who?
I love Jerry more just because of Mali. Randomly, once I said, "thank you Mr. Brawner." He looked at me staring at Mali and said "For what? Mali? You're welcome."
Me: How did you know?
Him: I haven't done anything else great lately.
Mali is great, more than that. He's perfect.
I write this blog for you lady friends without kids. I love girl Kai, I would never take back those moments. She is amazing and wonderful and beautiful. Everything about her was perfect, except for the timing. I did alright, she is still alive. But right now, this time... it's a different kind of perfection. I am 30 (turning 31, whoa!), I have a new baby and if the coin was right, I'd do it again, maybe even again after that. Age is not a limitation. Do not sit around feeling sorry for yourself because the baby experience is not in your story yet. Don't rush it. Children are amazing, yes. And any experience can produce an amazing child, yes. But today, as I forego happy hour with the coworkers and rush to get home, I am thankful for this last chance to do it again. Thankful that Jerry and God knew better than me and didn't let me be done. Thankful for those failed pregnancies that made that last successful one, although difficult, worth it. So thankful for my Mali who lights up my day and night (especially at 3 am).
I was 20, waiting for the weekend to come, just so I could hang out with my friends. Now I'm 30 and waiting for the weekend just so I can get a full day with my sweet boy. I know some of you are thinking, "but I'm not 30, I'm 35 and time is still ticking and I don't even have a man." For you, my response is, pray that God brings children in your life and trust His way. You don't know what God has planned for you and what He is capable of. It may not be in the cards for you to birth children of your own, but there are so many children out there that need someone. Be a mentor, babysit for a single mom who needs a break, or a tired mom who was up at 3 a.m. with a newborn. Those experiences could help someone else, fill and void in you and maybe even prove to you that kids is not the way to go, lol (j/k, but kinda not). :)
I pray my words offer you some peace!!