It’s funny how the things you want can change over time, even to the opposite of that which you wanted before. When I was seven I wished my name was Misty. How ethereal, I thought, as I flitted around in a ballet skirt; If only I was Misty rather than Jenea, I would be happy. When I was in junior high I longed for Pepe jeans, the height of awesomeness. I bought one pair with my own money and wore them every other day – stone washed to almost white, pegged at the ankles. Oh yes. In high school it was a new house I thought I needed. Not an old one with creaky hardwood floors like we had; I wanted carpeting, and a neighborhood in the new part of town where every house looked the same.
Getting the things I wanted produced varying degrees of happiness for me, but it didn’t last forever. The Pepe jeans were horrible just a few years later, and Misty would now be on a list of names I would go to the courthouse to change. As an adult I live in an old house with creaky hardwood floors in the old part of town. By choice.
One of the biggest desires I ever had was to be a mother. As I tried to get pregnant with my first, my obsession increased with each unsuccessful month. What I ate, my temperature in the morning, which pants Marc wore – each was an essential element in my quest to have a baby. It was all that mattered. The day I knew I was with child, my obsession switched to having a healthy one. The day I gave birth to my son I fell in love so hard I couldn’t imagine ever leaving his side. A year later my dream was to go to Target alone.
Having a second baby was a definite urge, too. I felt a little less sure of having a third, though if I would have known what a sweet and easy child she’d be, there would have been no hesitation.
But now, if I got pregnant again I would cry.
I’m not supposed to say that, because there are people who desperately ache for a baby, as I did eight years ago. And if it were to happen, I’d move past the crying at some point and welcome the new little person into our family with joy. It would just take some self-pep talks and a lot of caffeine. I realize the I-want-what-I-want-when-I-want-it aspect to my changed desires. Like a spoiled five year old who rejects the ice cream she just ordered because it’s in a cup instead of a cone. I can almost see my own pouty face and crossed arms. But it’s the truth. My body might actually fall to pieces if I grew another person in there, or gave it birth, or woke up every two hours to feed him. I need a nap just thinking about it. As sure as I was that I wanted a baby when I was younger, I am sure I don’t want to be pregnant again.
Much has happened since I was 29, namely having three children and getting older. I’m in a different stage of life now than I was then, and I’m ready for the change. I want to focus on rearing the children I have instead of having any more, and I’m excited for new challenges, a re-connection with my brain, a chance to go to the gym more than once a week. I’m not being fickle, I’m just moving on. Thankfully I have no misgivings about having my kids the way I would have regretted being named Misty. And they don’t go out of style as did my jeans. Over time I may want different shoes or change the way I do my hair, but my children are one part of my life I will always be glad for. I might need to go to Target alone from time to time, but my heart isn’t going anywhere.