A friend of mine is going to have a baby. I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the added weight of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her own life, now so important, will be less value to her once she has a child. she would give up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams-but to watch her children accomplish theirs.
I want my friend to know that every decision will no longer be routine. That a five-year-old boy’s desire to go the men’ room rather than the women’s at a restaurant will become a major dilemma. The issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in the lavatory. However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess her constantly as a mother.
I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to hit a ball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy is so real it hurts.
“You’ll never regret it, ” I say finally. Then, squeezing my friend’s hand, I offer a prayer for ger and me and all of the mere mortal woman who stumble their way into this holiest of callings.