By the time I was in high school, I believed I would never have children. Why? No idea. But by the time I entered college (an era when over-population of the planet was a growing and alarming concern) I had decided I would never have children.
I trundled through life for the next 10 years content with my career, independence, and unencumbered lifestyle. I had friends, relationships, wine and cheese tasting parties… what more could I possibly need?
Then, while working full time as a Contract Specialist for the Forest Service, and attending USD Law School at night, I became pregnant. I don’t mean to imply that it was by magic. I was involved in a long-distance relationship with the man who contributed to the life-changing life suddenly growing inside me. I knew it was a possibility. We knew it was a possibility. We just didn’t expect it ever to happen.
But it did. And almost nine months later, after a 1-hour, 56-minute labor, requiring only the two good pushes I’d promised the little being during Lamaze class, I had my son in my arms.
And two thoughts in my head. I’m not going to tell you the first one because I said it out loud and it seems to have affected Brylan’s view of himself. Words I am now convinced no parent should ever risk saying to their newborn.
But the second thought, which I did not say out loud, was: Now I can be a grandma.
And immediately: Where did that come from?!
Unfortunately, my heart was now aware of the truth my social conscience must have been trying to eradicate. And more than 33 years later, that truth still abides.
I am proud to have raised a creative, intelligent, loving feminist. I am thrilled that he wants to be a husband and a father — a dad. I have even loved each of his girlfriends (except that one), hoping to see their puppy love blossom into a lasting relationship.
I eventually had to admit Brylan is a late bloomer.
There are still no grandchildren. Currently, there’s not even a girlfriend.
But I don’t pressure him. These things happen in their own time. He assures me he will get married someday and have a family. There will be grandchildren.
I’m just a little concerned that I shall be only a fond memory by the time the first one arrives.
Maybe I’ll be able to haunt them.