Thursday, August 14, 2008


I don't say "Never" anymore.

I say "Not now."

And I've been saying it long enough with "I'm still young" as its sidekick that the prospect is becoming less of a concept to shun than a glimmer of a possibility. A glimmer that's no more than a glimmer, and fatalistically, a glimmer that I expect to fade with further passing of time.

"But you'd be a good one," I've told myself with tone of hope and a trace of self-delusion.

Other voices admonish, "You'd be rotten." "You have no control over your temper." "With your temper, it would be irresponsible." "You're too selfish." "You've shown no evidence you're able to change." "You're too materialistic." "Your spiritualism suffers too much."

Some of the voices are mine, emanating from a place dark and familiar. Some of them aren't mine. They come from some that know me. Know me deeper than as the scrappy drug rep or committed yogini or the girl in the back of the chapel that keeps to herself. So because those outside voices know me as me, I bend towards believing them.

I take that, attach it to the fact that I'm not "still young" as I once clung to as my "because," and push the concept away, consigned to spend life learning things instead of creating a body and molding a mind.

"Not old," I'm told.

"Still young," They say.

But They don't know that I've always been older than I am. Though oldest of my siblings, continually, I've been the youngest in other things, expected to rise above my age and perform as my situational peers did. Youngest at my first job. Youngest in my post-college teaching job. Younger than my students. Once "youngest one of your kind I've ever met" in my doctors' offices. Older in mind to compensate for being youngest in body.

Those days have dwindled. I'm simply not the youngest anymore. So the verve and sensations of youth have dwindled as well, such that I don't feel young enough to start something new. I became accustomed to being the youngest, aching to achieve beyond my years. No longer the case, I feel old. In my aging, defeatist mind, I've passed the age in which one can become a young parent; if ever I become one at all.

Add that to the burgeoning list of Scareds and Why Nots. And thank birth control as a den of protective retreat, where the Scareds and the Why Nots are barricaded where they belong: in the yet to be aimed for and perhaps never to be realized future.

Yesterday's reflection on Mme. Sanger may have seemed random if not oddly placed. But I was thinking of her. And I was thankful. She helped to enable my security blanket. The security blanket: a symbol of childhood we abandon as we age; yet it's my age and growing older that has impelled a tighter grip and greater gratitude of this ostensible cover of refuge.


Mal Robin said...

That makes me feel old. Quit it. Your not old!

cat+tadd=sam said...

You make more people feel old. Stop stop.

Andrea said...

I am not missing the heart of your message. You are not too angry, selfish, or any of the other things that we have all thought about ourselves at one point or another in our lifetime. I can tell you that I had the EXACT same fears about becoming a parent. While is it the most frightening feeling in the world to have one so young rely on you for guidance and teaching, what it boils down to is love. LOVE, nothing else. With love you learn patience, with love you learn that while you know you are about to explode you are adult enough to walk away from the young one before losing it. I know that you are capable of love like that Megan. I have seen it, in the messages that you have sent me, the emails that you and I have exchanged, I HAVE seen it.

Those who say such things should be careful of their words. Who really knows what another says about them behind their back.

You have faults, EVERYONE does. None are more deserving of being a parent than you. If the people around you can't find fault with themselves, they are blind.

Don't deprive yourself of the amazing gift of unconditional love. I have lost my temper with my children, my husband, my family. They still love me. I have yelled at my daughter, realized what I was doing, and walked away. She doesn't remember. All that she knows is that I love her, and I know that she loves me.

You have it in you. If you give me five minutes alone with those who you say know you more than all others and I will let them know how wrong they are.

Accept who you are and love the parts of you that are amazing. Remember that you are so wonderful at what you do and I couldn't do it. Nor could many others.

I too used to be considered the youngest and am not so anymore. But, instead relish in the fact that while you are not the youngest, you are one of the best.

Please don't let go of the blessing of children. Please remember that you are so awesome in so many ways that make you unique and would make you a beautiful mother.

And....tell those who point out your flaws to look in the mirror. People in glass houses should never throw stones.


whitneyingram said...

Well said Andie.

p.s. I would still be your surrogate.