Talking about having kids seems like a very adult thing to do and I do not feel like an adult at all, not even a little bit.
I am married.
I have a good car.
I have a great job.
I have health insurance.
Those are all very adult things but they do not add up to feeling like an adult. Most of the time I don’t think about “feeling like an adult.” I mostly feel like myself and that is enough. However, when you start to imagine what it might be like to throw kids into the equation, it inevitably brings up the question of being “adult enough.”
Brett and I have talked about having kids. (Has everyone?) We have talked about it a lot actually. We both want them. We both feel prepared to have them in many ways. But we avoiding talking about it in any material way the same way opposite ends of a magnet get close, but never actually touch one another. Sometimes I am enchanted by the idea of having a baby. I have been captivated by the idea of smelling baby hair, building bunk bed forts, reading pages of poetry, fantasy, fairy tales that aren’t quite yet understood. At times I am overwhelmed by the desire to begin writing the next chapter of my story, to begin editing the definition of “parenting” left from my own childhood.
Those moments aren’t particularly fleeting but they are certainly less impressionable than the moments when I look at my own face in the mirror, until my eyes cross and I wonder, bewildered, how I could even consider such an outrageous proposition. Outrageous not because of the sheer quantities of shit and screaming and screeching that are actually involved in parenting, but outrageous because it means becoming a principle player in a miracle of science and evolution and space and time and faith. I am a principle player in consuming Discovery Channel documentaries on the colossal squid. This is not a skill that qualifies me to engage in such primal, eternal matters.
I have a hunch that having kids is a much more organic process than I can possibly wrap my mind around, having never been a part of it. It likely has nothing to do with story books or the Discovery Channel at all. The best indication that I am not ready to have kids is that I don’t feel ready and Brett and I have yet to have a car conversation that has resulted in a decision to start trying for kids. (All of our best decisions are made in the car.)
Another indicator is this: A few nights ago Brett said, “Let’s put off having kids for at least another year and spend 2013 and 2014 taking trips together” and it sounded like the very best idea I have ever heard. Right then and there we drew up a travel bucket list. Here is what is on it:
The next two years is a time for Brett and I to be very selfish. It is a time to spend too much money and to leave work early and to drive all weekend. It is a time for adventure. I simply cannot wait.
(PS. If you see your city on here, we comin for you.)