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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


My best friend from college gave me some disturbing news last night. I still don’t know if I can comprehend what I was told.

M was always going to be a mother. She wanted a brood of children around her. As the second of four and the member of an extremely large close-nit family in western Michigan, family is very important to her. Just like she knew she was going to become a teacher, she knew that she would have several children. So, it came as no shock to me that she became pregnant on her honeymoon.

When we would have our monthly phone sessions, after the baby was born, I would feel myself wondering who this woman was. Our main topic of conversation was the latest feat of the newborn and how uncomfortable her old clothes were. I still considered myself a newlywed and years away from that foreign place called Mommydom. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I couldn’t find the woman I used to know. Gone were cocktails and parties and here were bottles and Winnie the Pooh. I laughed at the anecdotes and congratulated the achievements, but I, like many other childless women I’m sure, almost felt a sort of pity for M, who was so consumed with this little person that she failed to ask me about my trip to Vegas or see the joy in my new purchase. I winced at the thought of the spit up, the diapers, the “mom” clothes and the extra laundry. I resented the idea of giving up my time, money, my husband and my freedom. I was not cut out to be a mom. I didn’t know how to talk to children and had an intense dislike for sticky hands and booger filled noses. There wasn’t a motherly bone in my body. Some women just have it. I didn’t.

Then, overnight (literally), something changed inside of me. I began to notice the softness of a baby and longed to smell their delicately perfumed skin. My arms ached to hold one and I began to see that the traits that I admired in J were the ingredients that would make the perfect father. I hoped for a baby, cried for a baby. I desperately wanted to be pregnant.

One day in June 2004, I received a call from M. She was pregnant again. She and her husband had decided to try again in May and it took less time than she had imagined. She quickly topped that news with another story about her little boy. I smiled this time, because I could imagine how important these stories were for her and I couldn’t wait to be able to give her a story of my own. I was able to do so in February 2005. I was pregnant! I was thrilled, excited, relieved and terrified. Terrified, because that motherly bone I previously spoke of, hadn’t yet made its appearance. I waited for it for seven long months and though occasionally I would get a fleeting sense of being mommy-like, for the most part, I continued to be disgusted at the thought of poopy diapers and dried spit up on my favorite shirt. I still didn’t know how to talk to a child and I didn’t get the hang of playing the right way. But I was about to become a MOM and there was no going back. (And believe me, I thought about it…mainly during the TLC and Discovery shows about childbirth and labor).

Now, almost a year later, I admit that I have lost a bit of my time, money, my husband and my freedom. I’m not quite as fashionable as I once was (if I ever was) and I’d rather spend my evenings on the couch under a blanket than in a bar with a drink. I can roll on the floor with the best of them and I can change the poopiest of poopy diapers in three minutes flat. I still have a dislike for sticky fingers and spitting up on my cutest top is not the way to win points with me. So, I guess I did have that bone after all. It's just a little under developed!

Fast forward to yesterday evening. M was discussing G&G’s latest adventure. Except this time, I had a story or two of my own. About teething and walking and new words like “Dog!” And now, I hear the fatigue in her voice and I sense a satisfied weariness about her. She’s not a perfect mom, but she’s a happy mom and a wonderful mom. I’ve learned so much from her while watching her raise her beautiful boys. She’s been a great teacher. She’s now pondering when she’ll get pregnant with her third child and whether or not she’ll stop at four or five. This, coming from a woman who wanted six. Which leads us to her shocking revelation.

She bought a mini-van.

A mini-van.

Okay, people, I know I just spent the past few paragraphs explaining how I’ve turned over a new leaf and that I’m such a happy mommy, blah blah blah. But listen. I. Am. Not. Driving. A. Minivan.

I refuse.

I won’t do it.

I definitely don’t have THAT bone.

I actually laughed at her when she told me and asked her if she was serious. While she was explaining all of the fascinating features, I giggled to myself and shook my head. No ah ah. I won’t be caught dead in one. When she reminded me that if I was planning on having another baby within the next few years, I’d probably have no choice, I indignantly stated that I would find a way.

There is a way, right?


Well, I’ve got a couple years to worry about this. Check back then.


Blogger Rants from a Bee said...

ha ha ha ha ha. You had me going there! I was ready with tissues, I was preparing myself for some heart wrenching awful news! Man you're good! I totally agree with you though. After the accident I had to get into a rental and the first thing I told the lady was "I WILL NOT drive a minivan". ha ha ha Totally with you, my mom's suzuki has two rows of seating in the back, therefore, there is the possibility for me not to get a minivan. I'm with you MB, I'm with you.

Blogger Becki said...

Great writing Jean! I also will never get a minivan but who knows what will happen down the road. Hey, what if you have another set of twins? You won't have a choice then for sure! When Scott turns in his truck next year, I think we are going to get one of those Jeep Compass'. Have you seen them yet? Smaller and a 4 cylinder but all wheel drive.

Blogger bubandpie said...

I am so with you on the mini-van thing. Hubby seems to think that mini-vans are the essence of style and practicality, but I think they are evil. Will. not. go. there. Will stop at two kids just to ensure that no mini-van-purchasing need ever be contemplated in our home.

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