Growing up, most of the houses in my area didn’t have fences in their backyards, so all us neighbourhood kids would get together and play in the summer. It was pretty awesome, because there were a lot of us, and also because I was one of the oldest and considered myself in charge. Anyway, one day I woke up and wandered over into the backyard of one of my neighbours to see if their kids wanted to play. Instead of the usual crowd, however, I was met by a toddler, and two unfamiliar strangers. Because my parents didn’t teach me anything about manners or not speaking to strangers, I walked right up and introduced myself.
My neighbours introduced the pair of newbies as “so-and-so and his girlfriend” and the little girl was their daughter. At this, my younger-than-10 brain went crazy. I wish I could remember the look on their faces when I innocently asked “why do they have a kid? Aren’t you supposed to get married before you have kids?”
Yikes. Young Tonaya was seriously confused, and apparently very sheltered. This couple did not fit into my strict, black-and-white beliefs about how the world worked. Boy meets girl. They date. They get married. They have babies. Plus, people with babies were old, like Mom and Dad. This couple seemed pretty young. I was not sure what to think.
OK, flash forward to today. I’m 20 years old and I have a pretty good idea how things work. I get that children are born out of wedlock and that non-married couples live together (though not if my dad can help it). I understand all this.
It’s the age of young parents that I can’t get past. I think this comes from the fact that all of a sudden, the people having babies are my age. Which is awesome — I mean, if a baby is what you want and the timing is right, then good for you.
I just … I can’t understand even wanting a baby right now. Not to say I’m irresponsible (I once accidentally killed a cactus), or selfish (I specialized in individual sports for a reason) or scared of childbirth (you’ve heard how babies exit the body, right?). I’m clearly parent material. But it just seems really, really early. Personally, I’d kind of like to finish my degree, work on my career, get married, way before I have kids (or adopt kids … seriously, ouch).
But like I said, I’m pumped for everyone else. While I’m super happy in my baby-less state (super, super happy), I do envy all you mothers out there for one reason: Halloween costumes. Lately Pinterest has been blowing up with images of baby Halloween costumes, and I am just dying from all the cuteness. Cabbage Patch Doll baby? Taco baby? Lobster baby? Hilarious. Makes me consider borrowing/renting a baby for an hour on Halloween, just for the laughs. But I’m pretty sure you can’t rent babies and I doubt anyone would temporarily lend me that cuteness, so I’m stuck getting dressed up and going out with my friends. Darn.
Tonaya Marr still checks under her bed for monsters when she goes to sleep at night. She’s realistic like that. Send her an e-mail at tonaya.m...@gmail.com or tweet her @TonayaMarr.