12/18/08

I'm Trusting You to Not Make Fun of Me for This

I've always really liked babies and toddlers but lately this affinity has turned into a boarder-line obsession. 
Yesterday, I was walking into the mall and saw a mother bending down tying her daugher's shoe. The kid had a cheek so full of gum she could hardly hold her head up straight. I laughed and craved a kid of my own. 
In the mall, I saw a kid jumping up and down and screaming at the bottom of the escalator because he was either really scared or really excited; I couldn't tell. I laughed anyway and thought again how much I wish I were a mom. 
I saw a kid face-down on the floor (which is kind of gross) at Starbucks and throwing a tantrum. I turned to my mom and said, "I don't even care if they do that, I want a baby so bad!" 
Every time I see a pregnant women I want to walk up to her and tell her how lucky she is but instead I just enviously watch her from afar. 
I'm contemplating attending my family ward while I'm home instead of my singles branch so I can sit by all the young mothers and hold their babies. 
At Thanksgiving my mom asked me to make name cards for everybody and put them where they would be sitting so there would be no confusion. I made them and put the children's cards at the plates surrounding mine. The kids were loud and I had to cut their food for them; they spilled their juice on me but I didn't mind. I loved having them there. 


I think that is why I baby my plant so much. I have an avacado tree. I named it Verde. I grew it from an avacado pit, watched it sprout roots in a glass, and coaxed every green leaf out of it with motherly tlc. Yesterday, I decided that it was time for him to transfer to a new pot. He had outgrown the old one and so, like any good mother, I got a bigger pot from the garage and started the transplantation process. When Verde was safely in a new pot, watered, and his new dirt was neatly and lovingly packed around him; I filled the laundry room sink with soapy water and sponged away all the dirt residue that was left on the inside of Verde's first pot. Ceramic met marble as I placed the clean old pot on the counter. I looked at it. Empty. Even now as I write this I can feel that feeling that crept up inside of me but I can't adequately explain it. It had been so long since I had seen that pot empty. I remember the day I picked that pot out at Home Depot and the salesman who wouldn't stop hitting on me. I remember the day I lifted Verde from his water glass and planted him in that pot. I remember wrapping that pot in a towel because I thought it might be too cold for Verde. Now it's empty. I wasn't sure what to do with it, I couldnt't just put it in the garage to collect dirt. I decided to start growing a new plant to put in it. 

Is that what being a mother will be like? Someday will I find myself in my laundry room, folding my baby's first onesie, that he has outgrown, and think, "I remember the first day I put him in this and now it's empty." I'm sure I'll feel that same feeling that I felt with the old pot only stronger. Will I ask myself, "What should I do with this? I can't just put it in a box to collect dust. Maybe I'll just have another baby to fill it."

28 comments:

Katie said...

Brittany,

I'm not sure my post will end up even relating to yours, but I'm intrigued because today I was thinking about having a family. My thought process was this: If God's work and glory is to 'bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' then essentially His work, everything he is preoccupied with (with our Heavenly Mother) and all that he does, is centered around his children and their success/eternal salvation.

So,(forgive me if I slaughter this) If Man is now as God once was, and if man may become as God is now, then essentially we'll be doing things the same way (after all, He is perfect, wouldn't we follow in His footsteps? Maybe as a Goddess Sister Morgan will not create snakes) but then, won't we have the same work and glory? For eternity, won't we be completely involved with our children's welfare? (I wasn't planning to put this in my post, and forgive me if I'm out of line because I don't know much about your life Sister Morgan, but haven't you done that with your children? I only remember hearing about your sacrifice for Megan; but still. I believe you've already put this into practice.)

During last summer break, I was sitting in front of my student ward Bishop's office waiting for a meeting. Along comes this young father, and attached to two of his fingers, the middle and index, was the cutest blonde boy you've ever seen. (Maybe barely over a year.) He waddled slowly, head tilted up. He arrived where I was sitting then walked even slower as I smiled and waved. He grinned, and moved on, one little arm still raised, clinging to his father's fingers. I started crying, and had no idea why. This sweet child did something to me and immediately I thought, "I want a kid." I won't forget how I felt, and yet I can't describe it. Not the happy tears or sad tears. What, then?
My mother always says that having children is a fulltime job; it's nothing like babysitting. You can't leave at the end of the day and go back later. It's hard. But I'm thinking that instead of rushing every day just to make it through to the next is worthless. My family classes (I'm a marriage and family studies minor) have taught me that each day needs to be LIVED with your children. One professor said "We're living the Kingdom now." I love that.

Do you think because we are women and potential mothers that we crave this thing? (Wanting children.) As if our destiny pokes and pulls at us? Maybe, as divine heirs, we get emotional glimpses and desires of and for eternity?

Basically I think it's wonderful that you're excited to have a family, because that's what we're going to be doing for eternity. I'm sorry if this was so long, or not where you were going at all.

There. There are some guts laid out on the blog floor. And, I'm trusting no one will make fun either.

Sky said...

I always sit with the the kids also. They're much more interesting. At my grandson's basketball game last week, he sat out most of the first half, so I played with two tiny girls in front of me who kept going through every pocket of my purse for--guess what--not candy, but chapstick. One said, "my name is Clara; will you take my picture?" I took about 20 pics of this beautiful little girl from India. When I left, she said, "I'm your friend, huh? Will you tell your "wife" my name is Clara?" This was a titch confusing, but I said "sure" anyway.

But Britt, I promise you with everything I possess that raising babies is in no way, shape, or form comparable to re-potting a plant. You're in for a great exciting surprise.

Sky said...

Katie, I just read your comments. You're exactly right. I am forever and ever tied to my children--eternity-- and it's never the same as babysitting because they're your own children. I took pictures of their tiniest movements. I've had murderous thoughts when anyone has hurt them. The pain of a parent cannot be compared to anything you know right now, but as deep as the pain is, that's how high the love is. Because I've known this love and felt what it's taken from me and has given back much more--it's so powerful--I can understand a tiny bit of what Heavenly Father feels for us, because His is on a grander scale. Yet, I've felt how could anyone feel more love than this? It's hell and it's the highest heaven. I adore my children. At your age and Britts, that's a natural ache for your own destiny.

I took the following off this blog a while back because it was too sacred to me to put out there. But I want, at least you, to hear my daughter's own words about this relationship that you have to look forward to. And, yes, we have walked through fire--our whole family--but look what it brought about. She's 25 now, and just wrote this on her blog.

"I love my family. They give me strength and they give me courage. I feel lost without them. My brothers... My sweet Mother. I wish I could be with them more. I am proud of them; proud of who they are; who they have worked hard to become. We keep going, though we move through much pain. But we do it together. My God has blessed me with a connection that is so deep with Beau and with Mom, a connection that I feel across miles, and states, and fog, and noise, and people. A connection that is a part of me -- a light that I can pull during my dark. I am so grateful that I have such noble kin.

Leanna said...

I cried because me two plants, one a long time friend (a "Goldfish Plant" named Steve), and the other a new acquaintance (a flowering tuber plant that I can't remember the name of, except that I named her Aurelia) both died on the move from Rexburg to Provo. I still can't let go, though. I keep their limp bodies in the window hoping the sunshine will perk them back up.

And you guessed right about the clothes that don't fit anymore. My baby has outgrown her cute little newborn outfits and you said it just right--"Someday will I find myself in my laundry room, folding my baby's first onesie, that he has outgrown, and think, 'I remember the first day I put him in this and now it's empty.' I'm sure I'll feel that same feeling that I felt with the old pot only stronger. Will I ask myself, 'What should I do with this? I can't just put it in a box to collect dust. Maybe I'll just have another baby to fill it.'"

Great post.

Crystal said...

I volunteer to change my nephews' diapers, and not only am I in my home ward, I'm in the nursery.

So don't worry, you're not alone in your baby/kid obsession.

I talked to my sister once, and she said having kids would the hardest and the best thing I would ever do.

I want children. I want 8 of my own, I want to adopt some, and I want foster children. Sometimes I worry about how I'll fit them all in, especially since I won't have my first kid until I'm at least 26.

But as my mother said, I can always have twins.

Chan said...

Wow, these past few days have been a bonanza of blog posts.

I was talking to my brother Tanner a couple nights ago, and I asked, "So, is marriage really all it's cracked up to be? I mean, I'm sure it is, but..." And he said, among other things, "There came a point when I felt like I was missing something in life. Getting married made me feel whole." I've been suspecting that very thing for a few months. As much as I find fulfillment in serving and going to church and learning and etc., etc., I feel like having a wife and fam is living completely. I mean, the other stuff just doesn't make a lot of sense without family ties. So, while I don't have the mother-instinct you three are talking about, to a degree I share your feelings. I want a family.

Crystal said...

Sis. Morgan, someday I hope I will be a mother with children that love me at least half as much as yours love you.

Sky said...

Crystal, thank you. I have earned it. They are my whole and only life besides Heavenly Father, who loves them even more. Thank you again. To get compliments on them is a great gift. It's amazing how much bleeding we do, and no one ever knows about it. But then it doesn't matter because the prize is so great. They are home. They fill me up. Chan is right.

And as soon as I get past the resurrection and can marry Keith Urban (or maybe Johnny Depp) I'll be complete. Man, they're going to think it's so cool to have HIM for a father.
Now, I'm running to bed for the chocolate from Katie.

It's been nice playing with you today, Crystal. I miss you, and felt like you were right here all day--mice and all. One thing I know about you is that you will be one great mom.

Crystal said...

I miss you too.
I know, I felt like I was talking to you most of the day today (except for a few brief hours where I left to go babysit, funnily enough. The best part of the evening was when the baby was throwing pizza at me, Emma was falling off her chair laughing and half-choking on pizza, I'd just finished telling Isaac that he was a giant earth germ and his alien planet was going to refuse to take him back unless he took a bath, and then I turned around to find Gabe, the oldest boy, filming the whole thing on the family's camera.)

Thank you - I hope so.

I'm coming to Rexburg sometime in January - do you want to have a slumber party? I'll bring chocolate.

Sky said...

You told him he was a "germ"? That's too funny. For sure plan on staying here.

Crystal said...

A 'giant earth germ' to be exact. And then he ran around the living room shrieking "Earth germs are everywhere! Disinfect, disinfect!"

Okay, I'm holding you to that. Better be careful though, because Sara and I are planning on stealing your house from you.

Jami said...

I have no idea who you are, Brittany, but being a WC friend means that I can be completely honest.

I tried for so long to feel those wonderful feelings you captured in this piece of writing. My trying worked the opposite way until I couldn't even look at a baby without feeling a sour pinch in my stomach.

"I bet their parents don't even speak anymore," or "Her eyes probably melt her dad's heart when his own wife doesn't effect him," have been torturing me for as long as I've been married. Probably longer, but I never had reason to address them.

So I can't even comprehend this love and adoration you have. You are lucky. Although, today as I walked out of my last day working with infants, I gave all of them a big hug and kiss before I left. That has to count for something. And now I wonder--not with disgust or horror anymore--how will my kids look? Will my son sweep all of the macaroni on the floor and then laugh when I growl at him? Maybe I'll have the temper-tantrum queen who arches her back and bangs her head on the ground. Heaven forbid. Still, though, I want to know.

I stumbled on some journal entries and seminar discussion notes about this topic, and I want to write a blood essay. Still having trouble knowing how/where to start and how to convey the truth.

Thanks for the reminder for me to get writing. By the way, it's nice to meet you, Brittany.

Katie said...

S.M., I want to have a connection like that with my kids that your Megan described.

And Sister Morgan! I went to a Keith Urban concert, and not only can he PLAY a guitar, but he is sooo much more (you know) in person.

By the way, Brit, what kind of environment does an avocado tree need? I’m pretty sure I want one now.

I also wanted to share a quote I love, which I came across during a class. It has to do with what Sister Morgan said about Heavenly Father's love.

Orson F. Whitney said this concerning wayward children—My favorite part is the knowing and loving part, but I gave more so you could see what he’s talking about, or where he’s coming from so it’s less confusing. He said: “You parents of the willful and the wayward! Don’t give them up. Don’t cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours—long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them…Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend.”

Isn’t this great? It’s a little hard for me to comprehend. Because we know how much Joseph Smith loved. HE was one of God’s greatest servants, and still, there is a higher love. I think as mothers we’ll be able to feel a snippet of that. At least I hope.

Katie said...

By the way, Chandler, how did the hand selected box go?

Chan said...

Katie, it went very well, thanks for the help.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

Jami, I love your honesty which makes people like me feel a lot better about not wanting kids or a family yet. Just this evening I was talking to my sister (who is 18 so it cracks me up when she speaks so authoritatively about such subjects,) about how I see kids and cringe and respect the people that are ready for that life when they are 18 or 19 or anything below 25 but that it's not for me. I mean, really, I can't even find a girl I'm interested in for the length of a single date--how am I supposed to say "I want to spend the rest of my existence--corporeal or otherwise--with you?" And my life is constantly a wreck--why bring little running bags-of-meat-whose-not-dying-I'm-responsible-for into the mess?

I know that's not really the same angle you look at the issue with, Jami, but thanks for being real.

Not that you're not real if you want kids. You know what I mean. I hope.

Kaitlin said...

Britt, the more I get to know you, the more I believe that someday, we are liable to morph into the same person...we are so freaking similar.

I have had these same sort of inklings lately. Some time ago, I identified the thing i miss most about home: the presence of kiddos. It's funny ... I went into my manager's office a couple of weeks ago to ask her a question, and when I walked in, there were her three kids wrestling on the floor. I am almost embarrassed to say it, but tears almost came to my eyes! I just wanted to jump into the kafuffle with them.

This tendency has certainly reached a climax in college, but I have always wanted to be a mom. In high school, I was kind of, I don't know, weirded out by it almost. But then I realized that this desire to have kids is evidence of our divine calling to be mothers and to nurture the spirit children of our Father in Heaven. That's a pretty amazing thing.

Anyway, this comment was super sporadic and unpolished ... just know that I realize this.

Kaitlin said...

And yes, I used an exclamation point ... sorry, Sis. Morgan.

Crystal said...

Jami- My sisters and I always watch the families at church. Some couples sit at opposite ends from each other, the children in between them. Other couples always sit next to each other, the children on either side, or if they have children in between them, they hold hands across the top of the pew.

Sometimes I think that we focus so much on children that we lessen the marriage relationship.
(I'm going to follow Katie's example and give you a quote that means a lot to me.)
"Those who are married should consider their union as their most cherished earthly relationship. A spouse is the only person other than the Lord whom we have been commanded to love with all our heart" (“Marriage,” True to the Faith, (2004),97–101).

When you do have children someday, I know you will be an amazing and loving mother. And I know both you and Travis will continue to love each other just as much, if not more, than you do now.

Britt said...

Well Katie, avacado trees grow pretty well here. Since mine is in a pot its perfectly fine. However, once it gets too big to be indoors (since they can grow to be like 7 feet tall) then I'll have to plant him outside and that is something I'm not really sure about. I just know that they can't freeze so Utah or Idaho are looking like a no go. Also, they don't produce fruit on their own, so I'll have to do some grafting (which I hear is next to impossible but I'm looking forward to the challenge).
All in all, Verde is a pretty resilient plant. For example, I got rear-ended on my way back to Utah and I had Verde next to me on the passenger seat. He flew off the seat and dirt went everywhere. I can honestly say that I didn't care much about the damage to my car but I was furious about Verde falling over. Anyway, he was kind of droopy for a little bit but nothing that some miracle grow couldn't fix.

Oh, and Kaitlin, I know exactly what you mean about us being similar. When you told me that you want to grow up and live alone I was shocked. I thought I was the only girl at BYU-Idaho that would ever wish that upon herself.
P.S.
You and Ivor were in my dream last night.

Sky said...

You want to grow up and live alone???? Be very careful--when the Lord loves you, He will anwer your prayers.

iBo said...

I'm always kind of concerned when I'm in someone elses dream. What was I doing? Something stupid I bet.

Well I have a confession. Here are guts for the blog.

I think I've had my first fatherly urges. The first one was when I saw a little toddler holding her mom's hand fall over and giggle, before her mom knelt down and scooped her up and patted her on her pink toque. Walking past I thought, "awww cute." I'd love to have a child so I could pick them up when they fall over, and smile at them as they look for reassurance.

The second urge was here in Canada, when i was walking through the library and I ended up getting lost in the Children's books section of the library. I saw a youngish Korean dad reading a Babar the Elephant picture book to his little daughter, and again thought "cute". I quickly left the section of the library, but the image stayed with me. I thought, I want to do that. I want to read books to my kids.

I've always wanted a daughter. Well, I always wanted a kid sister to spoil, but I guess a daughter will do.

Not to say that I want a kid tomorrow or anything...but I'm warming to the idea of kids.

Sky said...

Cool images, IBO. Here's a secret: only very special men get to have girl children. So if you ever have a daughter, you can know you are tops in the Lord's book (I'm going to hurry and post before Jami hits me over the head for sexist remarks).

iBo said...

I better start carrying favor with the big boss then. Of course I'd need one of those "wife" things first...haha. Oh boy.

Britt said...

It wasn't anything weird Ivor. Kaitlin and I were doing our homework for Eng 314 and we had to write our own short stories but they were actually plays so they were like short plays. Is that a real thing? Anyway, mine was about a first grade class who didn't think it was important to floss (I think I dreamt that because I went to the dentist that day) and Kaitlin's was some awesome saga. We both read ours to you and you said Kaitlin's was better.

Katie said...

I think I'll just stick to buying my avacados, then. Someday I'll own an avacado tree, and I won't live in a freezing environment!

I'm glad you're in CANADA, Ivor, not DETRIOT. :p I believed you.

iBo said...

come on Katie, you gotta admit, it was a good joke. :)

Britt, your dream totally sounds like something we've already done at the WC on one of those endless MW afternoon shifts after Bro. Ward's/Bro. Samuelson's class. I think you need more exciting dreams. haha.

Time for you guys to move to Cali if you want that tree to not freeze. Then again...

Kaitlin said...

Is it really a surprise, Britt, that my paper was the better one? Just kidding.