Sunday, May 15, 2016

Waxing Schizophrenic

Sometimes I diagnose myself as a Mild Schizophrenic.  I'm truly all over the place, bless my poor husband's heart.

For the past year -- no, for the past 18 months -- I have been all over the playing field on the topic of adopting another baby:

I want another.  I don't want another.  

No, I really want another.  But I am almost 40.  

Okay, now I'm 40.  We'd better try this again.  

No wait, what am I thinking?  A new baby at post-40?!  

So what gives woman? 40 is the new 30, after all.

Like I said:  Mild Schizophrenia.

But whatever, schizo or no schizo, we are going for it one more time.  It was about ten days ago that I told my husband I was on board for sure, and then we both choked up a bit and got all sentimentalish, gave each other a hug, blah blah blah.  I won't lie:  I am completely freaked out, and I have no idea how I will be full-time-stay-at-home-and-home-school-Mommy-post-40 with a newborn.  And it REALLY freaks me out to think of getting a boy.  Honestly, I love my girl and I want another one of those.  I get girls because I am one.  Boys are kind of weird and awkward and smell funny, although I guess my husband was one of those once (still is, actually) so maybe they aren't so bad after all.  But still.... I'm shaking in my boots about the whole scary process, if I must be brutally honest with you.

"Wouldn't it be nice," I sometimes think to myself in a very modern-American-woman kind of way... "Wouldn't it be nice to just stop now, enjoy early middle age with grace, maybe take a European trip with our family of three, add a splendid new deck to the house, remodel the bathroom or kitchen, etc etc.?"  Yes, wouldn't that be nice? 

It would be nice, yes.  I hate our 60s-era crumbling concrete patio, and I've long wanted to see Vienna.  My hubby makes a very nice salary, so we could do those things; although we are not rolling in it, and we are a rather frugal one-income family, so we would have to pace ourselves.  But it would be feasible -- and very nice indeed.  Life would so much easier, so much more elegant, so much less stressful if we just stopped now, yes?  

When Lilia was an unbelievably mobile 18-month-old, I heard the prayer of a friend of mine.  It went something like this:  "Lord, help us to cherish when our children are small, even when it's hard, because they get big so fast, and then we're sad." 

I wondered then how on earth I could be sad to have the days of constantly following a toddler around be over?  Of preparing special, age appropriate meals for a small kid?  Of car-vomit-clean-up duty and bathing-duty and basically-doing-everything-duty for a small kid?  No way, Jose, bring on the big-kid days!  Other people might get sad, but I can assure you that yours truly will not be one of those saps.   

I'll confess something now:  Lilia turned six a month ago, and I actually cried -- not from joy, but sadness.  I mean I was happy that she actually GOT to turn six, and I loved seeing her blow out the candles and all that, but "six" sounded so... big girl.  When Jerry carried her to bed that night the size-eleven feet dangled down nearly to his knees; they used to rest like stubby knobs on his belt buckle.  It made me sad.  (I think perhaps I should have eaten humble pie that night instead of six-year-old birthday cake).

It's true, you know, that it goes by too quickly, and it's also true that it makes you sad.  And maybe I'm waxing philosophic or maybe I'm just waxing schizophrenic again, but I don't think I'm ready to give up this magic quite yet.  After all, what do a few weeks in the Western European countryside compare to years of that small hand, so trusting, holding yours?  (Not much.)  And what is the wealth of some snazzy granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to the treasure of hearing them crack their first joke and then laugh hysterically at their own awkward wit?  (Pretty small.  And besides, I don't even like granite and stainless steel).

So here we are, post-40 parents, ready to tackle mountains of annoying paperwork, background checks, intrusive home studies and many evenings of pre-packaged frozen dinners.  Here we are, ready to fork over no small sum in exchange for the greatest, the hardest, the most exhausting joy that life can give.

I'm 100% certain that I'll continue to be at least mildly schizophrenic about the whole thing.  But oh, what the heck?  I'll throw in my sanity with the lot on this roller-coaster ride.  

I know now that it's worth it.