My mom has been acting as live-in nanny to her first grandchild, my nephew, Jack. I was talking to her the other day when he let out a high-pitched shrill scream. Have you ever answered the phone only to hear the shriek of a facsimile trying to be sent to you phone? Yeah, it was like that. I had to pull the phone away from my ear. It seems that this is Jack’s normal war cry when he can’t get what he wants. If his intent is to scare you into giving him what he wants, he is well equipped to win that battle, hands down. If he were my kid, I think I’d be deaf in at least one ear by now.
“Good grief!”, I said to mom, with an implied “I couldn’t handle that craziness” in my tone.
“Yeah,” she said. “And you keep talking about babies…”
“Who said anything about babies?! I’ve been talking about children, not babies.” Even as I said that out loud, I thought to myself that maybe I really and truly don’t want kids.
I just don’t know. I do know that the sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and loud shrieking cries are certainly not something I’m willing to sign up for at this point in my life. I certainly want to know what it is to be a parent; the joy associated with the first recitals, graduating from college, and things like that, but I’m just not sure how bad I want that for my life right now. I’m single and I like being responsible for just me. If I don’t feel like cooking dinner, I don’t have to because no one is depending on me. If I choose to have three granola bars for dinner, it’s okay because I don’t have to set an example for anyone else. If I choose to order dinner, it’s okay because a small $10 pizza is not going to break the budget.
There are plenty of days that I feel lonely and disconnected. Those days are not easy. They are not easy at all. Some days bring the kind of sharp pain that makes it hard to breathe. But I am thankful for the hand life has dealt me. It’s definitely not a full house, but I wasn’t playing poker anyway.