Baby, Baby

I saw my best friend over the weekend. She’s reproducing and it scares the living bejimmies out of me. How am I old enough to know people who can have husbands, let alone be mixing DNA? Granted, we are closer to 30 than 25, but it still throws me off kilter to realize it’s Baby Time.

A few years after college, there was a two year window which I’ve repressed from my memory. It was filled with horrible sateen dresses and finding Plus Ones and purchasing mixing bowls at Williams Sonoma. When I actually admit this time of my life occurred, I refer to it as The Butt Bow Period. Everybody seemed to be getting married and I have the closet full of ugly bridesmaid dresses to prove it. I hated this time because I was still in student mode, attending graduate school and learning how to do Lawyerly Things, but my friends had actual incomes from actual jobs and could afford actual things like cars and rent and food. If the financial disparity weren’t bad enough, they where embarking on the next phase of their lives and were becoming Adults. Suddenly, they weren’t interested in going out with The Girls, but instead they wore suits and were Getting Serious and their idea of fun was hanging out with Him. And then, they got these gorgeous rings and big parties and expected me to wear teal with a butt bow the size of Antarctica. It’s safe to say this is a social period of my life I prefer to forget. Yeah, I get it now and I understand the desire to stay home with Him. But at the time, I wasn’t emotionally there and didn’t want to be serious with anybody, let alone get married. In the last few years, I’ve become truly happy for my married friends, but only the friends who remain single really seem to know what it’s like to still be standing on this side of the single fence. To watch as people settle comfortably into their Married Lives and to watch their worlds change and priorities shift while you are still struggling in Singledom can be hard at times. In the last year, I’ve finally started to adjust to the possibility that I might be single for a long time, and maybe forever, while most of my friends have their permanent Plus Ones. I was there, I was mentally OK with it. Really. Then, boom! Baby Time pops up from nowhere and my mental peace gets blown all to hell.

Having lived through The Butt Bow Period, I understood that it was logical for a Baby Time to follow. But so soon? Really? I misguidedly thought this was supposed to be eight or nine years post-wedding. Not three or four. This is not what I was mentally prepared for. I always figured that if I got lucky and met a great guy in the next three or four years, I might be able to catch up or something. Plus, I could have my career, too. Heck, what happened to having a career before you had a baby? Isn’t our generation supposed to be the one where we earn impressive job titles before we spawn? My sense of priority seems to be out of alignment with the masses of my peers. To add to the indiginity, I am just financially recovering from the wedding gifts and now I have to shop for more stuff in pastels. Perhaps I should be grateful I don’t have to wear it this time. Regardless, I’ve struggled for weeks to wrap my head around this sudden need my friends have to ensure the continuation of the human race. And in theory, it is nice. But I still wish somebody would explain it to me. I can smile and nod and be happy for my friends, but I don’t get it.

And now Best Friend is one of those in the Baby Time. She’s at that funny stage where you can’t really tell she’s pregnant. Instead, her stomach is just starting to show and she looks more like she ate too many Oreos recently. Every time we were walking, I stole covert glances at her stomach. I found it amazing that something could fit in there besides Chipotle and a bladder. And as we sat talking, I realized it has been almost 10 years since we’ve met. I have watched her go from shy, nervous freshman in college to confident, polished Super Mom To Be. With a Kate Spade diaper-bag, an SUV, and an endless supply of binkies. Best Friend is going to be raising a kid. Our future, our hope, somebody who is going to live to see the year 2083. Maybe a future President or the next Kurt Cobain or tomorrow’s version of Sally Ride. And suddenly, I feel small and humble and incredibly immature. Funny what kind of personal crisis a poop machine that’s not even born yet can cause.

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