It’s happening again.
Every couple of years, it seems, it happens. Maybe there’s something in the water, in this town, that reaches some kind of critical saturation point every few years, and then it happens.
Everyone’s having them, or they just had them, or they’re going to have them. My facebook wall scrolls past sleepy, milk-happy nuggets of newness held by proud-looking older siblings. The farmers’ market is bursting with this year’s crop, fresher than the strawberries, rosier than the radishes.
There was a time, I know there was, I can remember it– when I didn’t see babies everywhere. There must have BEEN babies, but my eyes slid right past them in the grocery store, on the plane, at the potluck.
Until they were suddenly everywhere, like an annual hatch, evoking a longing I hadn’t known I would have. Oh, I had thought I would have kids. “Someday” I’d have kids, I thought…. and when “someday” showed up it looked a lot like “NOW!!!!!!” and I was surprised at how big a previously nonexistent desire could feel.
One year… at hatchtime, when it was happening all around us (bellies and babies, bellies and babies) … it hurt…we hurt… because it wasn’t happening, for us. Because our seedling hadn’t made it, and instead of a belly full of baby with three months to go, I walked with a broken heart around the farmers market trying not to see the armfulls and backpackfulls and strollerfulls of sweet new freshies.
The next year we walked around with a secret only our close family knew– that we were hoping, hoping, that this time, we’d all make it, and this tiny creature would get to hatch. And the following spring, there we were, all three of us dazed and blinking in the springtime, in a world of milk and tired and babies, baby, babies everywhere.
These days, our guy is not quite fledged– but darn close, going to be a truly “big boy” sometime soon. And in Missoula, I swear, it’s happening again. The water, or the bursting springtime life force– something. They’re everywhere. And I feel a longing that makes no sense.
We aren’t. Having another.
This longing, that I used to not feel? It can go away again anytime. It can sink quietly back under the surface again, thanks, and it and I will both ignore this seasonal surge and charge and bloom. The babies will continue to hatch out, be snuggled and carried and I will admire and love them and hold them when I get to do that, and they’ll grow. They’re everywhere.
We really don’t. Want another. Much.