I compare myself to others. (Don't we all?) Lately, I've been looking at other mothers and calculating if I'm ahead or behind in the area of baby-making. Some of my peers have no children; some aren't even married. But some have four or five kids by this time. Some have even moved on from the baby stage entirely. They're "done" (having babies); their youngest is the age of my oldest. Those are the ones who make me feel behind, especially if they're younger than me. I think, "If I'd started earlier, I could be a 'young' mom" - as opposed to a seasoned, but lacking-in-energy one.
I don't know what the big contest is. I think it's just the awareness that as you make choices, the field of options narrows. Because of the choices I've made, there are certain things I won't have. The rub is, what if those are the things I really wanted? I spent seven married years not having children, and it bothers me because part of what stopped me was just fear, a terrible reason to not do something.
There were other reasons, too, though. I was (I mean, I am! - or, I will be again one day) in the theatre. I wouldn't trade my time on stage. There were moments under the lights...I treasure them. They're mine. Forever. I love the silence, the great dim space just beyond the circle of lights, that waits expectantly for my words to fill it. I wouldn't trade it.
I wouldn't trade, either, the healing I got in those seven years. I was leaky, like a sieve, so when you put love in me, it just ran out. I couldn't hold it inside and be nourished by it. In those years, I felt Jesus' hands, with their significant scars, building and repairing - no, gentler, like a potter - forming, molding, moistening, mending me.
When I went home to have my first baby - I mean, went home to stay, from being out in the world, Love came and filled me up. Surely I'll be on stage again. (I won't be playing Juliet, but some of the best roles require a little gray hair.) Even if I'm not, I know I'll be up to something good. God knows what he wants with me. He knows how many children he wants me to have like he knows who he wants to be their Mommy: me.