Monday, November 9, 2009

Like Being Pregnant and Nesting

I made a seriously conscious choice in my 20s to not have children. It didn't seem like I was meant to play that role in my life. I have never doubted or regretted this decision, and now I feel particularly assured that this has been a good choice.

I have 2 step-sons, ages 15 and 17. I was 16 when I found out my mother had cancer. I was standing at a pay phone outside my college dorm, and I felt the world drop out from under my feet. I had worked so hard to get into college as an early admission student. I couldn't wait to be out in the world on my own, and 3 weeks after I got there, I was cut loose and set adrift into the world with the knowledge that I was more on my own than I ever imagined. I am glad to be home with my step-sons and have them witnessing me enter this phase of life. I can assure them that the world is not "dropping" anywhere, and that they are not "on their own." I can teach them something about connection, adaptation, and coping with the unexpected.

Steve loves to tease me about the "theoretical daughter" we would have, had I gotten pregnant when we first got together. He calls her "Rose", and she would be 12 if she had been born. Until today I have always tolerated his teasing, but secretly wished he would stop. Last night I dreamed that Rose called me from a pay phone. As soon as I answered the phone, she was gone. Now I am wondering where she is and how she is doing.

I've never had the opportunity to feel the "nesting instinct" that my pregnant friends and patients have described to me, but since last Thursday, much of my energy has gone into wildly cleaning, organizing, and fixing up my home to be more comfortable for the times coming soon when I begin the ordeal of treatment. I think this must be the closest thing I'll ever feel to being pregnant and nesting.

Steve and his boys, my friends, family, colleagues, and all of you reading this blog have been so helpful in providing me with an urge to express my creativity and an outlet for connection... and so has Rose.