What I’m Not Supposed to Talk About

But first: thank you for the kind words about Scout.  I received many emails and while it may seem melodramatic to mourn a pet like this, all I know is that she was family.

 

So, who wants to talk about babies?  (Spoiler: There is no grand pregnancy announcement at the end of this post.)

For a good chunk of my adult life thus far I held a fairly strong “No Kids for Me, But Thanks!” stance.  Not that I didn’t like babies or children; I just could never envision myself as a parent.  But at the same time, every now and then I’d think, “Eh, maybe I could do the parenting thing.  But for now?  I shall make out with this fireman!”  Basically, I was never one of those people for whom kids was a dealbreaker in relationships, and so I dated a lot of guys who were either on the fence, or staunchly anti-parenting (in addition to plenty of men who definitely wanted kids… because I got around, yo).  And it was fine.  In some weird way I figured that if I was regularly attracted to/in relationships with guys who weren’t expecting me to have kids, then that had to mean something; it was the universe’s way of saying, “You’re not meant to be a mom.” 

And then I met Ed and the ambivalence about marriage and kids fell by the wayside.  I could see myself married to him and not hating it.  I could see us raising pasty-white kids and not being totally freaked the fuck out.  Maybe it’s backwards, but it wasn’t until I met the right person who would be in the parenting boat with me* that I realized, “Oh YEAH.  THAT.  That could work.”  It seemed my past aversion to having children was a result of the timing and the players being less than ideal.  It makes sense to me that now that I’m in a better position than in any previous time in my life (other than the age of my eggs, but I was too busy with soccer practice back when they were at their optimum performance) that a family sounds more appealing and less panic-attack inducing than in years past. 

Still, every now and then, doubt creeps in.  If I haven’t always felt the desire to be a mother, will I be a good one?  My life is fun and happy and full as it is now.  I think I – we – would continue to be happy even if kids didn’t happen.  Does that mean I’m not – for lack of a better term – qualified to be a parent?  Is it dickish of me to consider adding to the crowded planet’s already stretched out resources?**  Am I an asshole for even wanting more.  I mean, we have it pretty fucking great: jobs that keep us in good cheese, a roof over our heads, good health, and a host of other blessings.  Am I pushing it by even thinking that adding another person to the mix is something we deserve?  And most importantly: Do they make baby sunscreen in SPF 75?  Because you know a kid with our genes will need that shit. 

Like I wrote at the beginning, I am not pregnant so there is no tidy, definitive conclusion or surprise! announcement.  Just a lot of questions. 

* And in no way do I mean for all of this to be terribly heteronormative or dismissive of single parents.  I only know that for me, single parenting wasn’t really an option.   Mostly because I feel like there needs to be an adult in the house and we all know that isn’t me.

** Adoption has not been ruled out as an option.

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Scout

Today Dave made the difficult decision to end Scout’s suffering and put her down.  My mom and I went with him – and as awful as it was – we feel fortunate to have been able to say goodbye.  It had been almost two months after her initial diagnosis – at which time we were told we’d be lucky if we had another two months with her – and she stopped eating and drinking water.  It was clear that she wouldn’t simply go to sleep quietly and we had to step in.  (Related: I cried in front of my new bosses for the first time today so I can mark that New Job Milestone as “done.”)  Dave, in his infinite optimism, bought the “big bag” of dog food during his last shopping trip, despite my mom’s gentle encouragement to go for the small one.  That little detail alone is enough to send me into full-blown hysterics.

Scout, as rendered by Dave.

 

My parents found Scout in the Fall of 1998 while taking Gabi for a walk around a Pet Rescue Fair.  Her story was heartbreaking: she was abandoned in the back of some guy’s pick-up truck, wrapped in a newspaper.  Unable to keep her, he turned her over to a rescue center, assured that she would not be euthanized.  Months later my parents met her and took her home after falling in love with her on the spot.  She was named for the little girl in To Kill a Mockingbird. 

She was, to be blunt, a bit of a shit as a puppy.  I believe we referred to her as a “nightmare” and the “most rotten puppy EVER” on more than one occasion.  Furniture, the garden, and various household items were regularly chewed up and destroyed.  But just as we thought that Satan in dog form had descended upon our family, she turned it around and showed her sweet side.  Always energetic, she started to mellow a bit and we were able to enjoy her.

My grandma was a huge animal lover, and for some reason (seriously – she was a brat, but oh how we loved her) took to “Puppy” and helped her embrace her less-spazztic side.  When Grandma was dying we brought Scout and Gabi to say goodbye; Scout jumped into the bed with her and was more gentle and loving than I’ve ever seen her.

As much as Gabi was my mom’s baby, Scout was Dave’s best pal, his “Sunshine Puppy,” and his playmate.  While I miss her and can’t imagine the house without her, I know it’s exponentially more heartbreaking for him.  I am so very proud of him for the way he has cared for her not only during this illness but for over the last 12 years.  We were lucky to have her, and she was lucky to have us.

Of No Particular Importance

Another set of random bullet points since nothing I have to say could constitute an entire post.  You’re welcome.

  • Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, AND had a kick-ass 30-day review at work?  THIS MOI.  They love me, have high hopes for me, and there’s room to grow.  The pay isn’t the greatest, but for around here it works.  Happy times!
  • Friday night we had dinner in a neighboring town at this random awesome restaurant.  Ed knows the bar manager from high school, and it was basically a mini reunion.  Hanging out with Ed and his schoolmates always makes me feel like I’m in the movie Footloose.  A bunch of small town kids talking about “that time we were riding a tractor downtown and the cops gave us a warning”  – I mean come on.  I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
  • We left the restaurant for a dive bar a few doors down and my sister-in-law’s boyfriend put on my coat Tommy Boy-style so I have officially declared him a keeper.  Only the best for my family, yo.
  • Also?  Knowing the bar manager = free drinks all night = my wine glass was never empty = I didn’t get out of bed until 5pm the next day.
  • Ed is in New Orleans for a conference.  Coincidentally it’s Mardi Gras.  It is taking everything in me not to comment “Looks like fun!  I’m off to unload the dishwasher” on the photos he’s been posting of the parades.
  • Today I made a series of rational, adult decisions – some big, some small.  And then I blew it all to hell by seeing Black Swan by myself.  May I remind you that I am the woman who freaked the fuck out over Toy Story 3, so just imagine how jumpy I’ve been since being alone in my house.  Ed told me I should have waited until he got home to see it, but I don’t know how that would help.  I can’t…unsee…the things that happened in that movie.  I am also irrationally annoyed that Natalie Portman won so many awards for that part.  She was breathy, weepy, and skinny with a side of crazy eyes.  Basically, she was every contestant on The Bachelor.  Hey-oh!
  • Speaking of the Oscars: best thing I read about Corey Haim being left out of the Academy Award Dead People Montage: “You can’t pretend License to Drive never happened!”  Heh.

Sooo…any tips on how to combat a case of the Freak-Outs Over Normal Household Noises?  Aside from staying with my parents?