The Decision Part Three

11 Dec

 While we were deciding if we should move to Cape Cod, I wrote about everything I was feeling. This is the final chapter, Part Three. If you missed them: Part One and Part Two.

 

I’m in the plane on our visit back from Cape Cod.

 For some reason I want to name where I am at the beginning of each of these emotional dumps, to root them in time and space. This whole decision is a rollercoaster ride, one that’s gone on for miles and miles and weeks and weeks of my life.

At this point on the coaster, we’ve crossed the country several times over, from sea to shining Nebraska cornhusks, and we’re still looping, the excitement long gone, all that’s left is a headache and some sort of neck pain and also the ever-present nausea.

I’m exhausted.

I wanted clarity from this trip, though I don’t know why I thought this time would be the first time in my life I had clarity on an important decision.

I am not known for my clarity. For my easy decision-making.

Before this point, the decision that scared me the most was the decision to get married.

The people who get engaged and say easiest decision of my life? 

Yes, I don’t know if I even believe they are telling the truth. Or if they are, their truth is such a distance from my own that perhaps we live in different spheres altogether.

They are from Mars, I am from Venus.

Deciding to get married was agonizing.

Loving Rob is not agonizing. Loving Rob is easy and fresh, he fills my lungs with air.

But deciding to get married shook me to my bones.

I knew with every part of me what an enormous decision I was making. How it would alter the course of my life forever. I knew big decisions would not be my own anymore, big decisions like where to move. 

Like where to live as grown-ups. 

Ugh it’s hard to be a grown-up.

I’ve never done it gracefully, never enjoyed it.

I blame a happy childhood.

One where I lived with the people I loved the most and saw my best friends 10 hours a day.

It was a dream! The world was so small and it was a dream and now the world is big. 

Most of the time I don’t like it that much.

The decision of Cape Cod is really a bigger decision, which is why it’s so difficult.

It’s a question of where we can live long-term. What quality of life looks like.

What our future family looks like. If we are having a family.

It is the giving up of the Peter Pan phase of life in a tiny apartment surrounded by the whole entire sunny world for the practical phase of life, lawn mowers and really solid retirement plans.

And we like this phase.

And we are giving it up (largely) for children who don’t exist yet.

And what if I don’t even like them? 

(My children, that is.)

 —

On Saturday we went candlepin bowling. First we went to the depleted farmer’s market where a neighbor told us that we would be bored in the small town, that there was no good food.

And then we went candlepin bowling.

It’s a New England only thing, which is why I wanted to try it. Gimme gimme gimme a bowling alley that hasn’t changed from the 1950s, a bowling alley where you keep score by hand and reset your own candlepins. 

The bowling alley was quiet, off season Cape Cod, but there was a young family next to us, using bumpers and sliders. Guiding their children back to the game when they wandered off.

The family had a little girl named Eleanor who had just reached that stage where she was stumbling back and forth, getting the hang of this walking thing. Eleanor looked like she could have belonged to me, all brown curls and bright patterns. 

At one point, Eleanor left her family and waddled right up to me. Without saying a word, she reached up and held my finger, her chubby hand barely wrapping around. She smiled at me.

I smiled back.

Eleanor’s mom came over and said to me, “She likes your dress.”`

What if I love having children?

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2 Responses to “The Decision Part Three”

  1. Fiona December 11, 2019 at 7:35 pm #

    You will love having children. But I’m so proud of her already, all six weeks of her. I also wondered if I’d love it – parenting – because I’m definitely not a natural with kids. I know I’ll be great at some things like making family traditions, memorable trips, baking, crafting, homework, and helping her figure out her feelings. But I’m also going to be average-at-best at other things like discipline and ok, mostly just discipline. I’ve never been broody, the decision to have a family was a logical, planned (planned to ‘not plan’) one and it certainly wasn’t the easiest decision of my life, but it was easily the best.

  2. annabeth December 19, 2019 at 4:35 am #

    i never forget the happiness of getting own first apartment

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