Thursday, January 23, 2014

In the Middle

So this post has been percolating in my mind for, like, almost two months now . . . and yet I'm still not sure it's fully brewed.  Or that the coffee metaphor isn't weird.


Back in December the first graders wrote their "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" . . . thing.  IT was really interesting.  Out of 21 kids there were nine or ten doctors and one veterinarian.  And one each of pretty much everything else you'd expect - teacher, cop, fireman, pilot, racecar driver - and mom.

Scene: first grader drawing a picture of two adults, each holding a baby.

Me: Are those your kids (Brittany)?

(Brittany): Uh-huh.  they're twins and their names are Cinderella and Cinderella and that's my husband.

Me: Cinderella and Cinderella?  Won't that get a little confusing?

(Brittany): It's okay.  They're going to already be potty trained when they're born.

Me: Well it sound like you've got it all worked out then.

I don't remember ever having "Mom" as my occupational aspiration.  I have listed it a time or two, but it's always been more out of a sense of obligation . . . because it's what I was supposed to want, not what I actually wanted . . . I think.

The more time that passes, especially with both working at an elementary school AND being in Primary, the more I'm beginning to think that I have no maternal instinct.  At this point it's pretty certain I lack a biological clock - while I have nothing against the idea of having kids sometime, I feel no sense of urgency about it.  I don't find myself looking at the couples with babies in our ward and feeling jealous.  I enjoy getting pictures of Rogan texted to me in the middle of the day, but when I see them I don't feel jealous.  And as for that old joke about the most popular w(h)ine in Utah - I get the punchline, but I don't get how it's possible.

I'm not against having kids . . . but I just don't have any particular desire to have them either.

Which is not to say I don't love kids in general, and the kids I work with specifically.  I'm switching from first to second grade tomorrow, which is really depressing because I adore that class.  I love it when the littlest kids in Primary who remember me from nursery aren't up for sitting with their class and sit on my lap in the back instead.  And while it's less enjoyable to have to threaten to take the oldest kids to their parents if they don't shut up at church or tell the fourth grader who has to narrate EVERY. SINGLE. THING. HE. DOES. to shut up without actually saying "shut up" twenty times a day, I still mostly like them too.  So does that mean I would suck as a mom . . . or rock?  I do not feel maternal, like, at all.  Ever.  In the slightest.  I don't think.  But that begs the question . . . what does that even mean?  Does it kick in when you have the kid?  Or does the fact that some ten-year-olds drive me up the wall mean it's a bad idea to even think about it?  (On that note, what happens if it doesn't kick in?)

I know it's perfectly normal to feel this way, but as with everything else, location is everything.  And around here it's hard to not feel like I'm broken.  Malfunctioning.  I am most decidedly the odd one out.  The good news is that 99% of people don't bring it up and most of the time I don't even think about it.  But then conversations like ^that one^ happen and I find myself trying to wrap my head around it.

And I mostly keep my mouth shut because generally the people I've talked to don't get it.  Where I'm coming from I mean.  It's hard to find other ambivalent people.  Most people are very all or nothing - they want twenty kids or they despise the very idea of kids.  Not a lot of people are the type to shrug their shoulders with me and just go with whatever happens.  Sometimes I wonder why that is.

Mostly I just ramble on and on with a clearly not fully percolated idea.  And bad coffee metaphors.

P. ost  S. cript
Shameless plug alert!  But it's not for me, so it's okay.  The school I work at, Ellis Elementary, is a finalist in a video contest for trees.  It sounds kinda weird, but the prize is $10,000 to plant trees around the school and stuff, and they could really use the money.  The kids put a lot of effort into the video, and it's really cute!  Of course, at this point it's nothing but a popularity contest, but the good news is that you can vote every day between now and Valentine's Day, so even though we're kind of losing badly right now with YOUR help things can totally turn around for us!  As they say, vote early, vote often!  Because this is too cute not to win: