I am beginning to think, which is becoming more often than not, that I don’t know if I want children. I am closer to 40. A truth that I am willing to admit (sort of) but one that brings on full on panic. I know age is a number and I don’t feel like 40 (the next big one). I feel 32. But the age range I am entering, bearing healthy, normal children becomes an issue. I understand that Jane Seymour had twins at 43. But I am not a Hollywood starlet. I have a cousin with Down’s Syndrome and I don’t how my aunt does it. And when I am 70, I will have a 30 year old, that is a HUGE age difference.
It is not that I dislike children. On the contrary I adore them. My niece is so fantastic I want to hug and kiss her until I pass out from exhaustion. But to love a child, versus raising one, are two totally different things. And in New York? Raising kids seems like a contact sport if you are not rich. There is the issue of public schools. Dragging strollers into the subway. Walking up four flights of stairs. Maneuvering anorexic sidewalks.
Ten years ago, this would have been a VERY different conversation. Shoot even five years ago, I would not have given a man the time of day who did not want children. I had my heart, mind and soul set on the suburban dream. Marrying my desi mate, who had some shiny graduate diploma tacked up to the wall -- MBA, JD, PhD, MD, DDS; who sported a coordinating job title -- President, Director, Esquire, Chief of Staff, Leading Authority, Doctor. We’d acquire an outlandish residence -- preferably in a coveted zip code and grill tandoori chicken on a stately Weber. In the event then neighbors complained about the smell of spice getting caught in the wind and wafting into their backyards, I’d hire a contractor and install a fence to shield them.
Then I moved to New York. And everything began to change. I shed the car, the backyard, and the suburbs. I never liked driving in the first place; I am a subway-bus-taxi kind of woman. What do I need a yard for? I don’t mow grass. I didn’t want a house; an apartment was more than enough for me. I am not the type of woman to fix my own sink. While I might be a great mother, I am not so sure that I want to be one.