The Beginning of the End of Me

“I’m ready now” is Rocky’s excited answer to my question.

When we were engaged, we agreed that we wanted to wait a couple of years before having kids. It’s been a little less than two years, and the idea of children is exciting, even romantic. I fantasize about family picnics at the park, reading bedtime stories, making messes, floating through our days love-drunk and exhausted, finding happiness in the tedium of maintaining a home and a life with children.

Even so, I am unprepared for his answer.

“You’re ready to have kids now? It hasn’t been two years. I thought we were going to wait two years.”

“We can still wait, babe. I’m not saying we need to have them right now. I can wait until you’re ready. But you asked when I thought I’d be ready to start trying, and I’m ready now.”

There are no words. Just a cocktail of hormones wreaking havoc on my homeostasis. I am excited. I am annoyed. I am scared. I am confused. I want to be a mother. We are supposed to be ready at the same time, and it has not been two years. I have no idea how to be a mother. I have not had good examples. I don’t want to surrender my body to pregnancy. I want to be a mother.

“Okay. Well, I’m not ready.”

The conversation ends as suddenly as it begins, but the atmosphere has changed. Rocky hears the defensiveness in my tone. He doesn’t understand why it’s there. He feels defensive about its presence. Somehow, he messed up by answering a question I asked. There is no justice in this courtroom.

My prayers are uninterested in being answered. I pray that God will give me peace and clarity. I pray that I hear his voice. That’s not what I want, though. It’s not just that I am not ready to be a mother. I am not ready to be ready.

~

Nothing extraordinary happens on the day that I find I am ready. We’ve just come home from work. I am a high school teacher. Rocky is an engineer. We have one car, so he drops me off and picks me up every day. On rainy days, he walks me to the building holding an umbrella over our heads. He visits during lunch. He sometimes surprises me with flowers and chocolate when he picks me up. We talk about how we feel. We argue. We dream. We listen to music. We are silent. It’s as sweet as it sounds.

We’ve come home and I am in our room undressing. Then it happens. A peace that isn’t mine coats my brain like honey. I know that I will never be ready, and so there is no better time than right now. I weep. There is joy and there is grief. There is deep knowledge that I am saying goodbye to a season that I cannot ever get back. There is anticipation for the season that I am making space for.

When I walk out of our room, the tears have dried. I tell Rocky that I want to get pregnant. He grins.

“Okay. Let’s try.”

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