So. Last Friday night I got to meet twistedhip
's newborn baby girl. He's right - she is the softest thing I have ever felt. It's like the skin on her shoulders isn't even there, it's so soft. I've been trying to think of a good nickname for her in my blog, and came up with "Val" for "Valvoline", since I was thinking if there were just some way to patent that frictionless essence, you could make a million selling it as engine lubricant!
They very kindly let me hold Val while we watched the Corpse Bride, and I was trying SO hard not to move because I didn't want to wake her up. After the movie, when I told them this, they chuckled knowingly and demonstrated that you could probably whirl her around your head or use her as a drum and she still wouldn't wake up until she was darn ready. (I should perhaps point out that they didn't demonstrate this by actually DOING these things - it was more of a supported rocking up and down motion, really.) But man, that kid was out!
It never quite ceases to amaze me how I can be quite dotty about other people's kids and still genuinely not think, "wow, I gotta get me one of these." I am so thrilled whenever I see the couple of kids I am honoured enough to have in my life. I have a pretty highly developed sense of wonder, and have seen some amazing stuff in my 31 years, but knowing the parents-to-be going through the pregnancy and then watching these babies change and grow every time I see them, and knowing they are happy and loved and well cared-for and how much joy they bring their parents - well, it's been the neatest thing in my life, bar none.
I worry, sometimes, that something is profoundly wrong with me, and that the desire to have kids will kick in with a vengeance at some totally useless time like, say, 60, when there's not a durned thing I can do about it, and I'll end up all sad and regretful. If I weren't also blessed by the presence of several very cool kidless women at work - most of whom, like me, genuinely like kids and I assume are pretty good with them (they just strike me that way), but don't actually want to have their own - I would have to assume I am quite, quite mad and should go into some sort of therapy program to make me crave the babies I'm supposed to want for myself.
For a long time I also worried that when people around me started having children I would feel left out somehow, like the River of Life passed me by and I'm stuck circling in a little stagnant eddy somewhere as they all go rushing by me to...uh, the sea, or whatever the appropriate metaphor would be. I have been delighted and relieved to discover that I have't felt that way at all. I've been really touched when the parents invite me over and I get to hold them and play with them and even read them stories. It's FUN, dammit, and I really value being part of their lives, however peripherally.
I think it's like visiting someone's cottage: I always have a great time when I go, and i can see why people love them enough to want to own them and embrace being responsible for their upkeep as part of the deal. I get it, I really do. I just don't crave that constant contact strongly enough to want that kind of commitment for myself.
But I sure do love those visits.