One of the few perks of being middle-aged is that people stop pressuring you to have kids. I still get the occasional, “you never know: my mom had me when I was 45,” but for the most part people have stopped asking. Not being married helps, too.
Along with the divorces, not having kids is another thing makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong with my life. You’re supposed to have kids–the Bible says so. And if you’re a scientist, then evolutionary theory says so. In my defense, I did try. Or at least I didn’t try to prevent pregnancy. But I am relieved that I didn’t get pregnant.
It’s not that I don’t like kids. I love kids. I would rather play with the kids at a party than have to interact with the adults. And I’m really good at playing with them, too. I get all into it. It’s not hard, since a part of me is really still a child. I even have a name for my inner child; I call her Sophie. She is part of the internal family I mentioned in one of my first blogs.
I know some of you may be thinking I’m crazy right now, but the truth is we all have parts of us that almost seem like separate people, and they don’t all see eye-to-eye. That’s why we can argue with ourselves about why we’ve stayed in this terrible relationship for so long or why we ate that entire bag of Oreos. I am sure you can think of at least one time when you were absolutely dumbfounded about why you made such a terrible decision. And you probably cursed yourself for doing so, too.
Anyway, Sophie gets along really well with my niece, who is 7. In fact, just this weekend my niece wanted to pretend that we were sisters. However, the adult in me finds this level of intensive play exhausting, and I can see why parents go to bed so early. Perhaps the reason why I am a night owl is because I don’t have children.
Even though this is not where I thought I would be at 44, for the most part I am OK with it. Sophie got to carve a pumpkin with two of my other nieces when I went to BSG, and I got to introduce my youngest niece to football this past weekend. And she had a great time, even though we lost.
In fact, this post is dedicated to her because she asked me to write about her.