Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Second Time

People see I'm pregnant and ask me, is it my first? I say, no, it's my second. Then they ask me how old my older one is and I say, seven. They do a double take.

All around me I see young women getting married or having their first babies in their early thirties and I wonder, I really do, how I had the courage to just walk into marriage as I did at twenty-three.

It's strange to have women my age describe their early days of motherhood especially, because I'm expecting this new baby with a feeling of familiarity, a pleasant sense of anticipation of what is to come. I already know there will be immense compensation for the months of ungainliness, the lost figure, the sleeplessness, the breastfeeding troubles. These women talk of learning from their babies, of their tentative triumphs, their wonder at the marvel of it all. I do remember all that, from eight years ago. This time though, feels sweeter, less fear of the unknown. There is more welcome than almost any other feeling when I think of the baby. I know I don't want to play it music in my womb or teach it advanced calculus (assuming of course, that I could teach it any such thing!) before birth because an older sibling -- currently stalking the house as some species of dinosaur -- has shown me with great firmness that children learn when they learn; my wishes have nothing to do with it.

I'm not even slightly wistful I did it all so long ago, but I do know I cannot relate to all these women who are doing it for the first time now. Their joy and wonder gives me a lot of happiness, but I don't think I have ever walked or could walk in their shoes. 


R's Mom said...

Super congrats...hope health and stuff is fine :)

Sri said...

I loved this post...when i see my classmates still not married(at the age of 29), i sometimes feel i was so naive to get married at 24 and have a kid at 25...

All the best for everything!

Sue said...

R's Mom -- Yes, all well, thanks.

Sri -- I suppose we were a little naive, but there's much to be said for having children in one's twenties. One really does slow down in many ways in the thirties, or at least I have.