Conversation with my 5 year old daughter:
Daughter: I don’t want to have kids anymore.
Me: Why not? I thought you wanted three?
Daughter: Not anymore. I don’t want to have to watch kids all the time like you and Daddy. I don’t want to have to take them to all the places that I don’t want to go.
Me: You don’t have to have kids if you decide not to.
Daughter: I don’t want to get married either.
Me: Why not?
Daughter: I don’t want kids, so I don’t need to get married.
Me: You can get married without having kids.
Daughter: (pauses) I don’t want a husband.
Daughter: I always want to be your kid. I just want you to be my mommy. I don’t want to be someone’s mommy.
Me: If you have kids or don’t, if you decide to get married or don’t, I will always, always, always be your mommy. You are stuck with me kid. Nothing will change that.
I can’t help but wonder what her sudden change in perspective is. My god, I am trying to figure out how to shelter myself from this fucking storm and sometimes I forget that kids are perceptive and intuitive and less hardened to the world. I forget that I am their shelter too. I must remember to be kind even when my day is rough. I must remember to emit love even when I feel terribly alone. I need to practice patience even when my nerves are frayed and I want to scream. I need to breathe when I forget that the world can be a really beautiful place, full of beautiful experiences.
I don’t want to be a shitty example for my kids. I didn’t want to get married or have kids either. I saw my parents and thought, no thanks- not for me. But, I did it anyways. I thought it would be easier to approach relationships from a safe distance. I figured I could build some walls and proceed with caution. I have never given my whole self to anyone. Ever.
AND THIS IS WHY!!
I don’t like so many feelings hitting me at once. There is excitement, pain, sorrow, mourning, happiness, lightness, confusion, worry, anxiety, and giddiness. It’s all too much at one time and it leaves me paralyzed. I am a planner, a far into the future planner. This fucks with all my plans. My husband can’t see past tomorrow, so I am guessing the next 70 years of his life don’t need to be re-routed.
So, here I am, still thinking that love is a huge crock of shit, marriage is a terrible institution and that maybe I was right all along. I know, I know, but once it’s right it will be so right. I have heard this. I have witnessed this happen. It has happened for both of my parents, but right now, in the thick of it, I am doing all I can not to build my wall higher.
I need to make myself a promise. Right here and now, I promise to embrace the all feels. I promise to experience the emotions and weather the ups and downs. I will promise not to close down just because sometimes it hurts too much to stay open. I will forget the future and live in the present. I will accept the things that I cannot change. I will learn a lesson. I will grow. I will blossom. Because if I don’t, then I am bound to repeat this cycle and I just have to get off the damn ride.