It’s a widely held opinion that as a woman reaches a certain age (mine, perhaps?) her “biological clock” begins ticking. It’s the countdown to the day when suddenly having babies is no longer an option. I can’t begin to count how many “wise” women have informed me that one day, sooner or later, that timebomb that apparently erases all reason will start its deafening tick down to detonation. Somehow, this will suddenly change every belief I hold about parenthood, strong feelings that have been with me almost as long as I can remember. I actually cannot remember a time when the idea of motherhood appealed to me. I know I played with dolls as a very young child; even then, I wasn’t their mama, more like their childcare provider. Their imaginary parents payed me handsomely to keep their brats, too. They even allowed me to name them all Susie. Wasn’t that nice?
I suppose it’s always been in the back of my mind that once I hit 35, I would suddenly desire nothing more than a child, or sixteen. It would be an overwhelming sensation that annhilated all those other reasons for being childless.
I’m still waiting. It’s been roughly 492 days since my 35th birthday. I’m straining to hear any kind of ticking. My clock is busted.
Wait, I do have the insane urge to cuddle something baby-like. Something cute and helpless and tiny and… furry! Every couple of years, I am beset with the overwhelming desire to raise a kitten. Does this mean I do have at least one nurturing tendency, buried amongst all those other traits that make me unsuitable as a mother? I think it does!
Kittens are really perfect. What is cuter? They grow up quickly, within a few months. They don’t eat much. They are inexpensive. And as adults, they hang around for a few years (in my own experience) and then they just disappear. Aside from the occasional instance of prying one from the slobbering jaws of a hungry German Shepherd, or scraping one out of the road with a shovel, yes, always sad, but there’s always another kitten.
I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with this post. Me? I’m off to the pound.