I’ve always had a vivid imagination. For as long as I can remember, I imagined how the different phases of my life would be. I fantasized about my adult self, wedding day, marriage, husband, career, and children. Now, 35 is coming for me like a freight train with no brakes. The headlight is getting brighter by the doggone day. With that, I have been taking inventory of all that I imagined versus the reality of how it truly turned out.
Today, the milestone I am most in awe of is motherhood: the actual creation of a human life within my body.
For so many years, I watched women swell with the gift of a new baby. I wondered how I would look. I wondered how it would feel. I wondered how much birth truly hurt. I had a mountain of curiosity to look forward to experiencing on my own.
It seems like I had motherhood on my “to do” list forever. And, then it happened for my husband and I. Twice. Six years and four months apart. I embraced the experience and tried to enjoy the best and worst parts. Most of all I just wanted to make that young me who’d looked forward to pregnancy proud. I think I did. I did all the fun stuff. I did the elaborate maternity photo shoots. I had a smorgasbord of baby showers and a gender reveal party with our second. I made sure I experienced every attraction at the pregnancy amusement park.
About midway through the second pregnancy, I realized my childbearing years were almost behind me, since we only wanted two children. I was saddened by the finality of closing out an experience l spent so much of my lifetime fantasizing about. It’s such a strange thing to know that you have completed something so biologically major that you’ll never do again. Does that sound weird?
I just kept thinking, WHEN DID I GET TO THIS POINT IN LIFE? And, more importantly, what’s next? After a few days of feeling like the closing of this childbearing chapter was something to lament, I slapped myself to a new fantasy.