I have to admit that I had a bitter case of the envies this weekend. Even a few quick metaphorical kicks to the head from the object of my jealousy didn’t do much to shake it loose. While at a Saturday night game for our minor league baseball team (yes, we go a lot), Angel Face, hubby and I found ourselves seated near a group of people from my work. They were all a little younger than us, all single or recently married, none with kids. They were drinking beers and laughing and making plans for which nightspot they would go to after the game.
Just a few feet away, I was working up a sweat chasing a toddler around the concourse. Literally. I was sweating. Not long ago, hubby and I had a group of friends like that. We could go to ball games and bars and restaurants in big groups and talk loudly and not worry about upsetting/waking/disturbing a young child. But now, I knew, that as soon as the third out of the ninth inning was made, we would be going home to put the child to sleep and would follow to our own bed soon after – no guarantees that she won’t be up at dawn. For a moment my longing was almost palpable. It felt just like that yearning I’d have when we’d be at the same ballpark and see parents with their young children. Of course, the irony didn’t dawn on me then.
One of the young women I work with came back to talk with me for awhile, and we giggled about the hopelessness of the guy she had been paired up with for the night. We laughed about this and that and talked about who could be a prospect for her and who couldn’t. Then, out of the blue, I confessed my envy. Maybe I wasn’t ready to have kids. Maybe I made a mistake. She said I was crazy.
Do you know how great you have it, she asked me. You have everything anyone wants out of life. You don’t want to be back here. You don’t want to deal with what I deal with. You have what I want. Don’t wish yourself back where I am. It’s not that great. She’s right. I know. I refused to agree with her at the time. But the next day, when Angel Face crawled into my lap and rested her head on my shoulder, I think I started to understand. It’s hard and sometimes it sucks and making this little child into a good, compassionate, free-thinking, responsible young woman is so totally overwhelming that I really can’t think about it. But I won’t trade it.
Note: Girl On Her Own posted on this topic today, from an opposite point of view – I appreciate it!