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Tick, Tick, Tick

Remember the movie "My Cousin Vinny"?
My family and I love that movie; it's got some bad language, but it's hilarious.
One scene in particular cracks me up: Marisa Tomei's character rants about her "ticking biological clock."

It's funny, right?

Until it happens to YOU.

Now, I knew biological changes happen to all of us throughout life.  But the idea of a biological clock inside women that goes off to tell them it's time to have babies...well, I always thought that was a humorous prop used by TV & movie writers.  Wasn't it just a myth?

I don't have a definitive answer (wikipedia, anyone? Web MD?) but now that I'm gettting...ahem...older, I am starting to understand what Marissa Tomei was talking about.  A little.

Because I have worked with children in some format almost non-stop the past decade, I think of myself as generally immune to kiddie cravings.  I have an outlet for my love for kids, and the bonus is I get to send them home at the end of the day.  And babies have never really been my age group.  They're too young to talk, they have diapers that need to be changed, and what do you do with them when they won't stop crying??  In fact, the other day i was thinking that if I ever do get around to having kids, maybe I'll just adopt.  After all, there are a lot of kids who need a home.  And I've heard that older kids have a harder time getting adopted, because most people prefer babies.  Not me,  thought to myself.  I'd like to skip that stage!  Nine months of discomfort, painful labor, sleepless nights, constant attentiveness...no thanks.

Then Sunday happened.  This past Sunday was mother's day.  I woke up that morning with a dream drifting out of memory--but the one thing I recalled is that in my dream, I had been pregnant.  And, I'd been HAPPY about it.  Then I went to church, which was all about Motherhood, of course.  And there were all thes baby pictures on the screen, and real babies in their mommy's arms in the congregation, and it happened.

I had a baby craving.

It kind of freaked me out.

I don't want to turn into a Tina Fey caricature of a woman who suddenly sees nothing but babies and can't seem to think about anything else!  But maybe that was my biological clock, ticking!  Letting me know time is running out!!!

I'm kidding, mostly, though that really did happen to me.  I'm not freaking out about it, though.  Not anymore.  I realize that we are biologically wired a certain way--and most women at some point have a biological desire to have children.  Heck, even Brennan on Bones softened up and realized she might want a kid someday!

I had my first "I'm pregnant"/"I have a baby" dream in high school, I think.  I looked up the meaning in a dream symbols dictionary, and it said that babies & being pregnant can also symbolize having an idea--like a creative, artistic idea.  So, of course, I though it was about my stories.  I mean, I always have ideas for stories.  But I don't always dream about having babies.

JuniorImage by J. M. Richards via Flickr

I sort of feel a little like Joe Pesci in that scene above, kind of like, I have plenty of other things to be worrying about right now instead of babies.  And for ten years, I just sort of thought that  eventually, the timing would be right.  There would be a Guy.  There would be a Wedding.  And after a while, THEN there would be babies.  Cravings or not, I need to realize things might not go down that way at all.  If not, would I be willing to go the route of Tina Fey's character in "Baby Mama" or something?  Who knows!

Right now I'm living in my brother's dining room, so it's not like I'm exactly in the right place to be a mother.  Right now, I am a mommy/teacher/counselor/big sister to around fifty kids every day after school.  Right now, that's still enough for me.  My mental and emotional clocks are not ticking quite so loud.

I just wish they'd tell that to my biological clock. 

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gracedewitt said...

TICK TOCK!!!! :D Well either way adoption or insemination, or the old fashion marriage and then baby scenario :P, I know you will be a GREAT MOM. You future kid(s) will be very lucky to have such a sweet, kind, caring, and thoughtful mom, especially one who has so much experience with kids.

J. M. Richards said...

Aw, thanks SuperGrace. you're sweet. I know you'll be a good mom, someday, too.

Also, your reply on my tumblr about Ireland cracked me up.

Sara said...

I love this post! I totally understand the biological clock thing. And I'm not a baby person, either, nor have I ever been!

But let me say this. I did go through a period where I thought I might not be able to get pregnant. And you know what I told myself? I said, "Self, I will not be one of those miserable, infertile women who can't live life without conceiving a baby." And I really was happy. I focused on all the pros of not having kids. More money, freedom, spontanaity,etc. Then guessed what happened. I got pregnant!

It seems like life is full of these kinds of ironies. Once you become perfectly content without something, that's when you finally are allowed to have it. Now I wouldn't want it any other way.

Love you, sistah!
God has wonderful plans for you that you could never even begin to imagine.

J. M. Richards said...

I remember talking about that with you, the whole "let it go, focus on the positives" thing, and I agree.

I feel like overall, that's where I land when these kinds of longings crop up in my life. I don't want to deny them, but I don't want to dwell and be miserable. I acknowledge that they're part of who God made me, so they're not bad. But the outcome of these longings may not be what I hope for, either.

I just thought I'd put this instance out there, because a) it happened, b) it's still fairly rare, and c) it's kind of funny.

I love working with kids, and I am blessed to still be doing it. I am still happy more than 50% of the time to be single, solo, and on my own. But there are moments when I catch a glimpse of a life I'm missing out on, and this is my honest reaction to it.

Babies are life changers. In good ways, but also challenging ways. Am I ready for that?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Sara. When I stopped worry about whether I was going to get married or not, it happened.

I'm content to not be a mommy right now and yet it still hasn't happened. But I think it's possible that the reason is because James is not content.

He needs a LOT of prayer. He want s to be a dad really bad, but it's not for the right reasons. He just wants to be a dad because he's 38 and all of his friends have kids who are now in their teens or even graduating high school. He feels like he's totally missed out.

I keep reminding him that my dad turned 41 a month after I was born and he was never happier.

I have to laugh at how similar we are when it comes to babies. I never had a pregnancy dream until I was 21 and it was just that once. I've two dreams total of me holding a baby in my arms and realizing it was mine. that's it. It just feels like maybe God is preparing me to being a mom to a child, not a baby. Which I would love more, because I love kids who can already talk and walk and tie their own shoes.

Is that selfish of me? I just don't get excited when I think about having a baby, but I do when I think about being a mom to a pre-schooler.