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People Say the Funniest Things

A woman is sitting next to me in a café, knitting a shawl. I like to knit, so I start a conversation with her. She pulls up the length of the garment to show it off and spots a pink Now-and-Later wrapper stuck to the fabric.

She pulls the waxy scrap off and grimaces.

"My kids," she explains. "—I knit on the couch."

She glances at my belly. "Just you wait."

* * *

I'm talking to a friend who is the mother of twin boys. I tell her that everywhere I go, parents just look so tired to me.

She says, "Yes, children take your beauty. But what were you going to do with it at this point anyway?"

* * *

"It's the greatest thing you'll ever do... It's the most fulfilling... the best ever life-changing like nothing else I've — you can't imagine... Hang on!"

* * *

I'm starting to wonder if this greatest-thing-ever speech is propaganda. Something people say to each other to reassure each other and themselves.

I'm not the person who always thought or dreamed about having children. I'm not particularly maternal. In fact, for most of my adult life I was pretty sure I'd never even be in the position to decide try.

So why did I do this? Because I realized that I'm not the sort of person who would choose NOT to. Because I read about other moms who had had doubts, who had been ambivalent, and yet were glad they'd gone forward. Because I kept having this feeling that our parents would make such fantastic grandparents.

Now that I'm in Week 20, the ambivalence seems to be abating. Just like the pregnancy books said it would. I'm in for the ride. However tiring it may be.

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