Thursday, February 02, 2006

does this mean we're going to get the seven year itch?

Seven years ago today, Josh and I started "officially" dating. In a rather awkward conversation that still makes me smile, Josh asked whether I'd like to be his girlfriend. And I said yes, and the rest is history. Well, except for the three times we pseudo-broke up, but I'm apparently not allowed to write about those. My husband says that it is a time he'd rather forget, because he "behaved badly, and is sorry for it." Isn't he the cutest?

He really didn't behave all that badly, he was just young and kept bringing up conversations to let me know that he wasn't sure whether he wanted a serious girlfriend. Understandable, no? I eventually put my foot down after three talks on the subject and told him that I was done with the ups and downs. It took him two weeks of life without me before he decided that he too was done with the ups and downs. That was over six years ago. I'd say he's forgiven ; )

After we'd been dating for a while, I had a conversation with my dad where he told me that he thought my personality was changing. As a child, he said I'd always been waiting for something, looking forward to something. He said it worried him because I wasn't living in the moment or enjoying the present as much as he thought I should. Around the time I met Josh, I just stopped doing that. Who knows whether it was a change that would have come about on its own or not? But with him, I could enjoy exactly what we were doing, without looking much to the future or the past.

I didn't worry about getting engaged, it just happened. I didn't stress about a wedding date much (although I did stress about the wedding itself), we just picked the date. We made the decision to move to New Haven fairly easily, the decision to move to New York on a whim, the decision to move to Boston without much fanfare. We both enjoyed the stage we were in- dating in college, dating long distance, engaged, married, and eventually married with dogs.

Occasionally people asked about children, but it wasn't in our plan yet. I'd shoo them away with the assurance that I wouldn't have children until we'd been married five years at least, and frankly, I didn't think about it much. We'd talk jokingly about names or how many kids we'd have, but we were both content that it wasn't the right time.

For the last year, I've loved the changes that have taken place. First, Josh stopped traveling, then he started school, I started a new job, we enjoyed home ownership. It has been a fantastic year, with travel and wonderful friendships and good health. I've mentioned before, there isn't much more I could want.

Recently, however, that has changed. Maybe it is seeing a few of our friends with their new babies. Perhaps it is the new stability that living in the same city brings. It could be the flexibility my job offers and the happiness I feel at having found a good place to work. All of a sudden, there is a tug in my belly, a feeling I can't describe. If I had to guess, it is that I'm waiting for something.

I'm almost afraid to talk about it because of this irrational fear that I already have so many blessings in my life, what if you can't have it all? Silly, I know, but that is what keeps me up at night and makes my heart race if I think about it too much. Well that, and how much a baby would change our lives.

In some strange moments of irony, for the first time ever we've had several people ask us in the last month or so whether and when we're having kids. Besides making me supremely uncomfortable because I can hardly talk about it, I can't believe that people find this an acceptable topic of conversation. Am I crazy? Do people always ask you? I've wanted to respond with "what's your monthly income?"

I cringe to post this, because I know what happens when you make plans. I'm afraid to even hope. That feeling, the tug, is there, though. I've been noticing it when Josh and I whisper in the dark. When I hear a friend talk about her desire to be pregnant. When my friend sends me pictures of her beautiful baby. When we wished each other a happy seventh dating-iversary. It seemed fitting to post them today.


mc said...

HL, it sounds like you guys are in a really great place. I'll be the first to tell you that you can't plan the baby thing... but it's great fun trying! Congrats on the seveniversary -- you deserve it.

hipmamab said...

Yup, thats how it starts.. when all the reasons for not having kids yet seem stupid and you can't even remember the excuses anymore.
Then comes the "oh lets just see what happens.."

Hey, thats not a plan, right?
Happy dataversary!

Ninotchka said...

Happy Dating Anniversary! 7 years is a long time to be together. What a beautiful thing that you're both so very comfortable with and happy together. I could see how that baby question would be uncomfortable. We didn't get it so much when we didn't have children but got it ALL the time after we had Natalie. "When's the next one?" It was annoying especially when we couldn't get pregnant for all of those months. I totally get how you feel. I also know how much you look forward to that time in your life. I think you're going to make the cutest little family, EVAH! ;) I agree with the previous commenter that you can't plan these things too much. But I do think you will know when it's time.

One Mother's Journey said...

What a wonderful post! Sounds like your ready - I wish you the best.

Phantom Scribbler said...

What a lovely, ruminative post. But, Ok, first I have to ask -- are you changing the name of your blog? Why am I seeing (barely) surviving the boston winter here???

Happy seven-year anniversary! I remember the waiting feeling so well. When it progresses to the point where you involuntarily tear up at the sight of other people's children, you know you're done for.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

I've wanted to respond with "what's your monthly income?"

OMG, you totally HAVE TO! Hahahaha. I've got people at work bugging me to have a second, especially since a few other women have had their seconds. Grrr. Leave my uterus alone!

Yankee T said...

To quote Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, "One cannot exaggerate the rudeness of inquiring as to the potential contents of another's womb." Ahem.
I love your response.
You and Josh sound like you're doing just fine. You'll figure it out. Happy date-iversary indeed!

Pink Cupcake said...

What a beautiful post, HL. It's so lovely that you are so happy with Josh. Happy 7th Dating Anniversary! My husband and I had our 9th Dating Anniversary last week, and I definitely think that they're just as important as wedding anniversaries in some ways, as it's a cause to celebrate your whole relationship.

I agree with what others have said about not being able to plan the baby thing too much, but I do know that when it happens, you and Josh are going to be the MOST AWESOME AND ADORABLE parents.

ccw said...

Happy 7th! Sounds as if you and Josh have a wonderful relationship.

As for people asking, yes people ask and they will continue to ask. Once you have one, the question moves to when you will have more. it is rude and I love your idea of asking about income.

As for a baby, you will know because no reason seems like a good reason to wait. Living in box? So what, at least we have a box. Seriously, the desire can hit that hard.

Fraulein N said...

That's so sweet, that you started living in the moment when you met Josh.

Also, it's incredibly rude to ask somebody when they're having a kid. I've never had anybody ask me point blank, thankfully.

susan said...

what a lovely post, HL: the story you tell suggests that you and Josh know how to find with each other what you both want and need, and I hope you find ways to make the whispers and tugs become real (in whatever ways you eventually want).

Miss Manners totally rocks.

purple_kangaroo said...

Awww, what a sweet post. And I hope you get what you want. :)

Chatty Cricket said...

Oh my dear, I have a few things to say.

Firstly, the seven year itch doesn't apply to you and Josh. It just doesn't. ;)

Secondly, I don't know if one can ever truly have it all, but every time I look at my little Lady I think I must have hit the jackpot. She's amazing and has filled our lives in a way I never knew another little person could. Frankly, I never even knew our lives needed filling until she came along.

Thirdly, you two will make fantastic parents and you will have beautiful and clever children. Don't think you're hoping for too much.

Chatty Cricket said...

PS- one more thing to add. Just wait until people start speculating on whether or not you ARE pregnant.

What do we say to those people?

"Why, do I look fat?"

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

And then cry. Mustn't forget to cry.

Beanie Baby said...

Happy Anniversary! And good luck with whatever you decide to do. You definitely can't plan the baby thing, but you can't not plan it, either.

And just be ready--the moment you have the first, they start asking, "so when are you having another one?" It never stops.

Jennifer said...

That "when are you going to have kids" phase of my life lasted so long (we had our first child three months before our 10th wedding anniversary) that I had several good answers to it. My favourite was "when we can keep our garden alive". I don't know how old you are, but it definitely got worse for me when I hit 30.

Jill said...

Congratulations on 7 years with Josh. You two are a great couple, and I can tell by the way you write about Josh that you love him to pieces. It is exciting that you are starting to feel that tug in your belly, that longing when you see friends with their new babies. You both would be wonderful parents!