i recently had my dad over to help me with some yard work. he came in afterwards and also gave me a hand when he showed me how to refill the kerosene lamp my mother just gave me. once we were done with the lamp, i put it back on top of the cabinet and marveled at how the old lamp from my mom sat between the metal sculpture my maternal grandmother made in university and the shillelagh that originally belonged to my maternal great, great grandfather.
then i realized that all three of those items were from my mom’s side of the family, and i felt shitty that i didn’t have anything from my dad’s side.
then i remembered that the cabinet that all that crap sits atop was given to me by my dad, and it used to be a part of his father’s house in victoria (back when they built cabinets into houses way back when). i laughed and felt better.
but you know, all that thinking about family and heritage quietly stoked some awful, primordial instinct in me — an instinct to pass this cool shit on to my own progeny…
a day or two later, i woke up with a feeling of longing for my own child. i must have had a dream about it because of how strongly i felt it. you know how the overall vibe of an especially powerful dream can sometimes permeate waking life.
so it’s been weird. i don’t think i’ve ever felt this urge to have kids, and if i have, it certainly hasn’t been this strong. i’m confident it’s just a phase that will pass but it’s still an odd, unsettling thing to feel when i’ve otherwise felt so happy and confident in my choice to lead a childless life.
don’t get any ideas though. i’m not flip flopping here because of a few trinkets in my living room and a dream i don’t even remember having. as soon as i start feeling wistful about kids, i close my eyes and picture myself changing diapers, struggling through sleepless nights, having less time for everything else in life i love, paying $50,000 for my kid to go to rehab at age 28, etc. that works pretty well for quelling any urge to make a little version of jenn and myself.