baby envyin the midst of the youth center's annual halloween event yesterday, i met my coworker's 6-week-old infant. she was tiny, delicate, and managed to look well-bred even though she was shoved into a pea pod costume with giant green pillow-like lumps going down the front. it suddenly seems like there are an awful lot of girls my age carrying either a basketball-sized protusion from their abdomens or a pink, perfectly-formed person in miniature in their arms.
i followed the obligatory gushing with an offer to baby-sit once we move back to waldorf for good. my coworker was polite but said, "between my parents, his parents, and my sister, i hardly get to see her as it is," then broke off the conversation and moved to a different section of the room.
surrounded in the room by 100+ happily shrieking kids and their parents, i felt so out-of-touch with what was playing out before me that it was like watching a movie. moms were adjusting the finishing touches before the costume parade, dads were busy wrapping up junior with toilet paper for the mummy wrap relay, and all around me were people whose heaviest concern for the afternoon was how much candy and prizes they'd acculmulate before it was time to leave. i don't know if i will ever get to spend an afternoon fussing over the minutiae of costume details and not getting the yucky candy in my bag. even if we decide to take the chance and adopt a kid in an attempt to become the normal young couple, i get the feeling that we will both be looking over our shoulders for the rest of our lives, waiting for the worst to happen. i would love to have the feeling of carefree fun again, for the only concerns to be trivial ones. maybe i thought that baby-sitting the little green cherub would lend me some of the joy that i saw on the families' faces yesterday afternoon, if only for a few hours. maybe that's why my coworker reacted the way that she did.
is my desparation for a normal family life that transparent?
posted by amanda @ 3:47 PM