She's my oldest friend. We should be able to talk about anything, but somehow there's this THING between us that makes some of the more intimate things uncomfortable -- and some that really aren't that intimate seem to be.
So we sat, at dinner, staring mostly at our food. To say we'd grown apart would not be true...we just never were that close in some ways.
We have both been struggling lately with our own dilemmas, both of which are par for the course for our own lives...more of the same all over again. We purged our hearts to each other, cautiously, over enchiladas and tequila-laced drinks, shedding tears and offering support. Neither of us knew the right thing to say to the other.
I admitted to her that the news of a friend finding she was pregnant was like a punch to the gut. I was really going out on a limb to admit this to her.
We had an argument once, in the car on the way home from work. Years ago, we'd spent a few months carpooling when we worked together, heading home in the dark of the early evening in the dead cold of winter. It wasn't an intentional fight...she had admitted to me that she may want to have a child some day, but only one. I pushed her, asking if she didn't value the relationship, the lessons, the comraderie she learned from her sister. What seemed to me such a "given" (why wouldn't you WANT to have two?) was obviously a feeling she didn't share, and I was treading on what I didn't realize to be thin ice. She was very sensitive about the topic entirely.
I'm an oaf that way sometimes.
So we don't talk about kids and families all that much. I have one and she doesn't, and while I think she likes mine more than OK, we have never much discussed it after that afternoon in the car.
I mean, it came up. But we would mention it quickly and then push it aside.
I don't really know why.
But anyway, I told her I was bummed because after months of trying, this other friend was pregnant and I wasn't.
Then she said something to me that was so perfect in its simplicity, here I am writing about it all these weeks later.
"Why do you want to have another baby now? I mean, you're obviously as far stretched as possible. A new baby is not going to fix things, you know."
She was right. Having another baby won't make me any less stressed, won't put us in our new house any sooner, won't magically change my husband's salary to make it easier for me to stay home.
I sort of stammered in response, paused, and admitted, "I know it won't, but I just DO."
And that was that...we sort of moved on, circled back delicately, and then the conversation moved on entirely.
But the fact that I was so moved by the question that I've thought it over for days on end tells me something.
I still want that baby.
I don't think I could put the reason into words...watching my boys giggle together on a mini-roller coaster at the fair was all it took for me to know, in my gut, that I have that family I've always wanted. And at the same time, I know that my family isn't yet complete.
I've asked myself if I'm tempting fate to so desperately want something that some days seems so far out of reach...especially when my current family is so GOOD. I've come to the conclusion that there has never been anything else in my life that I've really wanted with this conviction, and therefore I will continue to fight for it.
But why not now? As much as I shouldn't use another baby as an excuse to change my life or make decisions that are otherwise hard for me to make, I also shouldn't let my fear of the unknown stop me from adding to our family, either.
I mean, if everyone waited to have children until the time was absolutely perfectly right, well, there probably wouldn't be ANY babies, would there?