Here's a long one...
I was never the type of girl who wanted to be a mother. I was the little girl who played with stuffed animals and Breyer horses instead of dolls. Rode my pony and spent hours mucking out stalls instead of Barbies and playing house. When I did have a doll it was never a baby doll. My dolls were friends, companions, confidants. When my childhood friends did force Barbies on me my Barbies led glamours jet setting lives without husbands or children. They were highly paid executives driving the silver Barbie corvette to their swanky office, while my friend's Barbies married Ken in elaborate wedding ceremonies and had little makeshift Barbie babies that were actually peanuts swaddles in Kleenex.
In High School I horrified my friends by saying I was never going to get married. I did not want to have children. I wanted to be a travel writer, a news anchor, anything that involved getting out of our small town and into the world. They would say "Oh, Bev... you'll change your mind!" But I was emphatic. Absolutely not. My single, childless life looked free and glamorous. I had my mind made up. The thought of being a stay-at-home mother horrified me. So traditional, so domestic. I looked down with disdain on the idea as simple, old fashioned and boring. That was never going to be me, no way. I watched the jets fly across the sky from the window of my classrooms and dreamed of the fabulous life I was going to have.
By college I had thrown the never getting married idea out of the window. I had fallen in love with the idea of being in love forever. How romantic. We'll both have fabulous jobs, live in a brownstone in New York City. Be connoisseurs of food and wine. I didn't dream about a wedding, but a traveling around the world style honeymoon. Italy, Scotland, India, Africa. My new outlook was even better than the original, now I would have a partner in crime.
Then the unexpected happened. The spring of my sophomore year my father was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He was told he had two months to live. My whole world fell apart. My dad was absolutely everything to me. I transferred to a local school to be closer to my parents. My grades fell. Gone was the Dean's List, the Journalism major dropped. I was lost. The glamous job didn't seem to matter anymore. My escape plan from the suburbs from Oregon faded into a distant memory. The next couple months was spent watching my dad, who was my hero, the strongest man I knew, fight with everything he had against this disease that was slowly and painfully killing him. He refused to give up, and fought it even up to the sunny July day when he passed away in the house I grew up in.
My outlook on life was dramatically changed after my father's death. My delusions on grandeur disappeared with him. The ambition I once was so proud of seemed trite and silly. I transferred again, to a better school, but spent my junior year of college fighting depression and driving home every weekend to take care of my mother. I still did well in school, but my heart wasn't in it any longer. Losing my father had changed me. I didn't know who I was or what I wanted any longer.
One month after I graduated I met Rob. That was it. I knew I wanted to marry him the month I met him. I always scoffed at love at first sight but now I knew. I knew how my parents felt. That kind of love was no longer a mystery to me. When he proposed several months later I didn't hesitate to say yes. One night, after my poking and prodding him for input on the wedding plans , Rob jokingly said he wanted to name our child Macadamia. He was just being silly but I surprised myself when I started to think that having children wouldn't be so bad. I told Rob that he would have to be the stay-at-home dad. He laughed at me and agreed, pointing out that I was going to change my mind. No, I knew it. I wanted him to stay home with the kids. In a way I was still holding on to the shreds of my original dreams.
A year and a half after getting married we decided that we would start trying. I probably wasn't even ready for it then, it still scared the living hell out of me. The negative tests and AF showing up where almost a sense of relief mingled with the dissapointment... for a little while. It wasn't that I didn't want to get pregnant. It was the the thought of being a mother. Being responsible for someone else. The thought of actually having a child absolutely terrified me.
The silver lining of infertility is that now, almost two years later, I can safely say I'm still slightly terrified but completely and absolutely ready for this. I told Rob the other night that I think at some point I want to be a stay at home mom. He laughed out loud at my change of heart. I've come a long way from the silly little girl who didn't know that it is family that matters, not how much money you make, what your business card says or what kind of car you drive. I wish my dad was here to see it, my transformation. I can be both. I can be smart and I don't have to be Suzy Homemaker to be a mother. I'm just not that person. I still have dreams. I still have want to see more of the world. I can be a jet setting wife, a jet setting mother. It is the blending of two dreams. In the end it will be more rewarding that glamorous, but I'm ok with that.
This blog entry is dedicated to my dad, Patrick Greene.
Who made me realize that family is more important than anything else in life.
"In telling the story of my father's life, it's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me. It doesn't always make sense and most of it never happened... but that's what kind of story this is."
- Big Fish