Some little girls grow up dreaming of their big white wedding and rocking babies to sleep in their arms. Perhaps since I was the youngest and never had anyone younger than me to mother I never was one of those little girls. I had a few baby dolls that I loved fiercely, all of which I still have. What the heck am I going to do with those? Probably let them sit in a bag like they have been for, oh, 20 years. I tucked them into bed with me every nite and drug them everywhere. My mom had made a Raggedy Ann doll for each of us on our second birthday and Amy (also known as Raggedy Ann to everyone else in the world) was my favorite. I loved her so much that the fabric on her hands separated so I stitched it up with pink thread so her stuffing wouldn't come out.
I was a rough and tumble little girl, maybe because I was the youngest of three. My oldest sisters "let" me eat mudpies, encouraged me to ride down big hills on the hand me down Smurf three wheeler and let me tag along on their adventures. Since my dad had always wanted a boy and I was the last until my little brother nearly 20 years later, I became the surrogate boy child for him. He spent a period of my childhood delivering hay and alfalfa to horse farms in the Annapolis area. Often I would trek along, probably being more of a pain in the butt than anything. I think this was also known as my mom getting one of her kids out of her hair. I remember one occasion where things did not go as planned. The plan was that I would not pee my pants and apparently I did not get that memo.
Until my little brother was born, I had never been around babies. Babies weren't a part of my world. Of course, they were cute and squishy but they also crapped their pants and cried. That was about the extent of my baby knowledge. Then little brother was born and my heart changed. I learned how much a sweet baby can mean to you even though they have never said a word. When my niece was born about three years later, I worried that I wouldn't be able to love her enough since my little brother had already stolen my heart. I was wrong wrong wrong. My heart found a new love for her. Then a nephew that instantly expanded my heart again.
After my niece was born I knew that having a baby was something I want for my husband and I. Maybe only because I was graduating college at that point and getting close to being married so it was actually a feasible plan then. So for the next six years, I spent them thinking about my babies. Not thinking about them constantly or even frequently, just an occasional - oh, our baby will have our dark hair and dark eyes. Wouldn't it be funny if my baby came out with curly hair since my curly headed sister got two straight haired children? Those kinds of thoughts.
I'm going to admit that I love my brother, nieces and nephews more than I ever thought possible. I think about things I can do with them and ways I want to be a part of their lives all the time. Sometimes I think about the possibility that if something happened to my parents or my sister and my BIL that I wouldn't mind raising any of them. Then I convinced my husband that an only child wasn't an option for us. Theeeeeeen I thought that maybe three or four would be fun.
Then I watched my niece and nephew for a weekend. A weekend my husband worked. Now these two littles are good kids. They no longer crap in their pants, they may me laugh on a regular basis and they are fairly self sufficient minus the occasional butt wipe. When the weekend was over and my husband asked me if I still wanted kids, I openly blurted out that I didn't want any. He chuckled and so did I. But I'm kind of not joking is what I thought.
The truth is that I'm selfish. I like to take a nap in the hammock on Sunday afternoon every once in a while. I like to read the newspaper in bed on Sunday morning. I like to go to the grocery store by myself. And babies? They don't let you be selfish. They turn around and grab your heart and you don't get to be selfish anymore. But I've known this. I know that kids take your all and only have their little hearts to offer you in return. I knew that for at least 18 or so years you are 100% responsible for their lives.
And maybe I'm just at a point where I realize that my young and foolish mind at 22 didn't realize that at 28 I wouldn't be sure about kids. Maybe you are never sure. They, whoever the heck they are, always say that you are never really ready.