I realized why I am always wondering what other people are wondering about me concerning having babies. It’s because I wonder the same thing about everyone else. I’ve spent the last ten years asking people, “How old were you when you had your kids?” Mining for stories about the women who had surprise pregnancies at 44 years old. Searching for women brave enough and open enough to tell me stories about using egg donors, IVF, or surrogacy, these women are hard to find. The few that I found would reply, “I used an egg donor, but I keep it quiet. I could talk to you about it though.” These people do not interest me! And maybe that is where the intersection lies, when I am asked about my pregnancy, the delivery, and told, “You look amazing,” I am caught like a deer in headlights. Do I go into the whole story with a stranger on the street? It’s a long story. What I say most is, “The babies were so small, I was so scared, I couldn’t believe they could survive.” Then I go on to say, “Now I know at 5 and 6 pounds they were actually large for twins.” I also throw in the “We were trying for ten years.” After they say how lucky I am to have twins, especially since I got a boy and girl.
I am very interested in people, their stories, how they get through the day, get through their lives. I am constantly making stories up about people when they post pictures on Facebook, people I don’t know very well. This morning someone had posted some pictures of her family, and I immediately thought, “She comes from money.” I have no basis for this assumption. I am comparing my life to hers, I see an intact family with multiple generations, I’m probably envious. I do this all the time, I compare my life to other peoples, I want information about other people’s lives, when I don’t have it, I imagine. Sometimes I ask questions, but most people are guarded. A lot of people have a hard time telling the truth because they might not know what the truth is anymore. No one is obligated to tell the truth anyhow, secrets are not illegal. But I think curiosity about other people is a curiosity about ourselves, it helps us learn about life. Where ever I take Jack and Fiona the thing that they are most interested in is watching other people. My brother said, “They are watching to see the reaction of the other kids.” We were looking at the bunny rabbits at the Little Farm. It was more interesting to watch the other kids than the bunnies. I think that says a lot.
The best places to visit are places with no internet service. It’s no fun to go people watching when all the people are nose down in their phones. I definitely don’t want Jack and Fiona growing up in a world where that’s what the people look like. I don’t want them to mimic that behavior. My husband said we need to start watching what we say around the babies. He said we should stop saying Fuck, and that I especially need to stop saying “MOTHER Fucker” because that’s my go to phrase when I hit my foot on the baby gate or step on a toy. He’s right, we can’t have the first words out of Jack and Fiona’s mouth being fuck or shit. So I am going to make a conscious effort. I will stop using those words. I am also aware that many people find my use of “Oh my god” offensive, so I need to stop that one too. I could just replace God with Gosh or Goodness. “Oh Fudge, I’ve got so much un-packing and laundry to do. Gosh Darnit, gotta go now.”