As I look ahead in this year, the months are littered with wedding dates and baby arrivals. It’s an interesting boom. Shortly after college, I attended quite a few weddings of my friends who managed to stay together as “real life” took hold. Save for just a couple people, I’ve lost touch with most of them, though through one that I do stay in touch with, I keep up with what’s happening with most of them. Their kids, life changes etc. For a while there was a dry spell of no ceremonies or awkward showers. But 2008 will be a different story (though still hopefully no awkward showers).
Just last weekend, I attended a wedding for a girl I’ve known for close to 10 years, maybe more. She was just a teenager, hanging out in the coffeehouse, but she became part of our group. She asked Han to sing one of his songs as she walked down the aisle. It was lovely (as I type this, I realize I already posted about this experience, but it goes with this post’s theme!).
Then in March, a great couple in our circle is getting married and they also just announced that they are expecting. In June is Cathryn & Jonny’s wedding which Han will officiate. Around that time, Laurel is expecting her first child. A woman here at work is also due in the summer. From the blog world, Schmoopy is expecting, while Boho Girl & Boy are also looking to expand their family. And another dear friend, emmet, became a dad at the end of December. Beyond that, in August, Han’s sister is getting married, and in July (was October), Heather’s youngest sister is planning to tie the knot. That’s another doozy. I’ve known her since she was 11! I still think of her as a teenager, but she’s a grown 28 year old woman, ready to settle down. She’s also going to have one of the greatest last names ever: Clinkscales. Come on!
Of these two events, I’ve never had much desire to have either. I was never the young girl who dreamed of her wedding, and I never felt a strong pull to be a mom. I just never saw myself pregnant or giving birth. I feel lucky that I get to be like a mom to DK and I really like our relationship. I’ve known her since she was born so I have a very fond attachment to her. I also love my nephew, T, very much though we don’t get to spend a ton of time together. He’s just a little bit younger than DK. There are some infrequent moments when I get to hang with Heather and her two boys and I like them a bunch, too. And that about wraps it up for the kids in my life, and I’m totally okay with that. I don’t dislike kids but it’s not an experience I ever yearned for.
Once, in the Costco parking lot a couple years ago, Han off-handedly said that we should go to Jamaica and get married. It made me smile and we both thought it could be cool, but that’s it. We didn’t talk about it again and that’s fine. He’s the person I want to be around all the time. He’s the one I choose to go through everything with. And it’s the same for him with me. Even when we have our squabbles, I don’t think about not being with him. The insecurity that some people may feel if the relationship is not “official” is not something I feel. My sister and her husband lived together a long time before they got married. I think she was glad when he proposed, but I don’t know that she felt anything was wrong if he hadn’t. (Red?) But I do think the symbolism of it was meaningful to them. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I certainly don’t miss the stress involved from planning anything.
I don’t begrudge the people who choose to marry or who have children. Where my life has taken me has given me different variations on these themes and I like where I am.