The following post is the first in the new Words Wednesday series. In an effort to
force encourage myself to write every day, I’ll be posting an original piece of writing each week (hopefully!). I’m not making any promises of perfection or publication worthiness, but I will try my best to make them honest, entertaining and thought-provoking. In the future, I would love to feature other writers in this series as well. If you’re interested in contributing to E&E, visit the Contact Page for submission information.
I saw a book not long ago called All Of My Friends Are Getting Married Without Me. I had to fight the urge to buy it because anyone who is unmarried and in their mid-twenties (I was both of those things at the time) knows that feeling. You’ve recently graduated college and started your career, you’re trying to get a foothold on this whole adulthood thing and then all of a sudden your single girlfriends start dropping like flies. Everyone is either engaged, married or stuck in that awkward and tense phase of their relationship where the girl is dropping every proposal hint she can think of and the guy somehow manages to miss (ignore?) every single one. It’s impossible to keep up with the engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette weekends and weddings you’ve been invited to. You adore your friends and you love celebrating them, but if you have to sit at the singles table one more time you just might have a nervous breakdown. You can’t help but feel like you’re missing out. And you hate yourself for thinking that everyone else’s life is a little bit better than yours because they’re wearing a ring on their left hand. I admit feeling like this more than once. I almost married the wrong person because of it. But that’s another story for another day (or another lifetime in which I have the courage to tell it).
Just when I started to feel like I had gotten over my comparison phase (which coincidentally coincided with my own engagement), another life event swept through my circle of friends like a pox. If I wrote a book about it, the working title would be: All Of My Friends Are Getting Pregnant Without Me. You’re probably laughing. I am too (a little). But I’m also doing a mental survey of my friends list, trying to think of at least five of my close friends who aren’t currently pregnant or who haven’t already had a child. I only made it to four. I am surrounded by babies almost every single day and I have to say this (type this) before I’m overtaken by guilt and shame: I have baby envy. I’ve been married for exactly twenty-five days and I have baby envy. I have clearly lost my mind…right?
A normal woman would be in a state of euphoric newlywed bliss, enjoying every kid-free day and night she has with her husband, knowing it will be twenty to thirty years before she can have him all to herself again. And I am. But every now and then, when I’m watching my friend Angel hold her perfect baby girl next to her perfectly round pregnant belly, I can’t help but want to join the mommy club too. And when I recognize my own smile in the smile of my adorable, curly-haired niece, Alana (pictured above), I can’t help but wonder what the future Everett babies will look like. And no matter how much I try to keep it together, my heart always manages to burst into a million tiny pieces of mush whenever I see my husband holding or playing with or even smiling at any human under the age of five.
I guess I just want to know that other women recognize these feelings too. I want to know that someone else understands what it feels like to want a baby at the “wrong” time. That someone else knows what it’s like to be convinced that they’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms, even though they feel exactly like PMS. That someone else has already figured out how long it would take (and how much it would cost) to change the office they just designed into a nursery – just in case the birth control fails. That someone else has felt the tiniest bit of heartbreak when their period showed up on the exact day they knew it would.
I know that I’ll look back on these early days of marriage and wish that I could have stretched them out a little longer. I know that I am blessed to have this time to sleep and write and travel and play. I know that in God’s perfect timing four, maybe five, Everett babies will grow in my belly, climb into our bed, play in our backyard, and eat waffles every Saturday morning at our kitchen table. But I still can’t help but wish that their tiny feet would walk into my life just a little bit sooner.