Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Explore This Feeling with Me

Recently, I've been thinking it would be nice to have another baby.

WHAT?! you say. We thought you were done having babies?

I am. For a couple of reasons. Husbandguy and I really feel like our family is complete. Two children is enough for us. You know? Also, when I had Lulu, I told the doctor (12 dozen times) that yes, indeed, I was certain I wanted my tubes tied. So having another baby would not be a simple and natural thing for us anymore. We would really have to want it and it could end up being expensive and ultimately possibly disappointing.

This last is the thing that is keeping me level-headed about all of this. I realize that I don't actually want another baby. I remember that I loved being pregnant both times (I was very lucky to have easy pregnancies) and I adore those sleepless nights with a newborn who can be soothed by simply swinging on your shoulder while you talk on the phone or in your arms while you doze in the rocker or across your chest while you wash dishes. I wouldn't mind another chance to try nursing again. Third time's the charm, right? But as wonderful as all of these things are, we made the choice 4 years ago to not go through it again. We had good reasons (beyond not being outnumbered), and they are still very valid.

So what's the deal? Why the feeling?

The answer to that question is found, I believe, in my reaction to Pete struggling to find motivation at school earlier this year. I told her that if she didn't shape up and take some responsibility, I was going to pull her out of the school she's been going to for the past 5 years and home school her.

Ah Ha! you say. Right? No? Nobody? Okay then. Here it is:

This whole empty nest thing is getting to me! It's lonely here without my little monkey. For 4 years I had at least one child with me most of the time, learning, laughing, whining, pestering, making crafts, making messes, just generally amazing me every day. And even when Lulu started preschool and both girls were gone, it was only for a few days a week for a few hours at a time, barely enough time to do a load of laundry, let alone feel lonely!

Here I am now with all this time for writing and introspection and housework, things I've wished I had time for for years (well, maybe not the housework). And I'm loving the writing part of it. So far it's like being pregnant was for me - a little uncomfortable at times, but mostly easy, with the joy of something growing in spite of me (but absolutely not inside of me). The housework hasn't quite figured out how to fit itself into my schedule - if my housework was Pete's school work, we'd be home schooling. But the introspection! Oh man! I have never talked to myself this much ever, I don't think. At least not since I was 5. And I suspect that 5 year-old me was way more interesting than 36 year-old me is. Yikes!

Seriously. Yikes!

It's good, though, that I see this urge for what it is. It's good, too, that I get how difficult it would be to act on it anyway. It's also good that I confessed my feelings to HG because maybe, just maybe, instead of a baby, I can get a laptop and get out of this place and write somewhere else.

Laptops are less expensive than babies.


On another note:

My Day 2 NaNoWriMo word count is 5,021. A good solid number. More than halfway to the point where I gave up 2 years ago. At this rate, I will reach and surpass the dreaded 10,000 word mark before the weekend!

What I learned today:
  • Full credit for this lesson goes to Charmaine over at Wagging Tales. In her Day 2 post, she reminded us that making changes to text already written wasn't a good idea time-wise and suggested that we simply make the change going forward and make a bold note of it so we can retrofix it later (that word works, right?). For example, I realized today that the character I had been calling Abigail for the past 4 pages was actually named Iris. I had written Abigail so many times, though, that to go back and change all the occurrences would have taken a lot of time and completely interrupted the flow of my writing. Instead, I made a note to myself right in the text that said, "ABIGAIL'S NAME IS ACTUALLY IRIS" and went on with the story using the name Iris. And what I learned is that I should visit Wagging Tales every day before I start writing. Thank you, Charmaine.

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