Obviously, there are many, many stab-through-the-heart-and-pin-you-to-the-floor moments when you decide you've banged your forehead up against a phantom wall more than enough times and it's clear that you are going to resolve your journey childfree. Moments like packing up the nursery, having a friend get "the call" from the same agency you used right after you tell her you're done, having to tell people your news and answer questions over, and over, and over.
But, I'm finding that it's the little ones that can get you over time, as we make our way through this odd period where the decision has been made, the nursery has been fully transformed into my lovely office space (I feel like "office" is too sterile for my cozy corner of happiness so maybe I should call it my "study" instead, unless that sounds too foo-foo-y?), we've told the vast majority of the people who we come into contact with regularly, we've planned most of our glorious California honeymoon trip (what's that about wildfires? La la la, I can't hear you), and we are settling into our house in its new identity as a cozy haven for two people who love each other very much.
- Discussing our decision in June while walking down a street that is QUITE LITERALLY A PARADE of parents and small children headed to our local elementary school for an "open house and ice cream social" held by the art & music departments. Oh hey, Universe, way to showcase everything we won't have in a march of "nyah, nyah" that went on for, no joke, 20 minutes.
- Having every single freaking Friday we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant feel like Daddy-Daughter day, with a cute father and little girl combo sitting at a table directly behind me so Bryce has to watch it the whole time we eat (and drink those blessed margaritas). The sour part of me likes to pretend it's a custody thing so it's not quite so sad for us (although sadder for them). It's heartbreaking to see Bryce try not to notice, but still the feelings show up on his face when he thinks I'm not looking.
- The other day when we went for a walk in a local plaza mall and there was a man outside one of the stores with a toddler grabbing onto his knees/shins and giggling hysterically, and re-realizing that's never going to be Bryce.
- When Bryce was asked by a new coworker why he got his sportscar in a compact SUV version instead of a two-door jazzier model (he is much better at not explaining than me and said, "I just like this one" instead of "Because I needed something I could put a carseat in the backseat and a stroller in the back, which I don't need anymore.")
- When someone well-meaning tells me that I'm not that old, that I'm the age she was when she had her second son, that anything is possible, and I have to explain (or choose to) that actually it's not possible as I'm missing vital parts of my reproductive system now and that is actually okay by me. (I really feel for friends who are in their 30s and in this similar boat, because you must hear this ALL THE TIME. I hope at some point people stop asking or talking about miracles, but they still do it for Jennifer Aniston so I guess that just goes on until you're clearly menopausal, or maybe Betty White?)
Sigh. Tinier stabs are passing the baby aisle in Target and realizing that I never got the chance to buy that elephant version of the Sophie teether thing, which is probably a good thing because it was EXPENSIVE, but for some reason seeing that gets me more than "Mommy's Little Patriot" seasonal onesies or whatever else is further down the aisle I refuse to torture myself with at this point.
We'll survive these little stabby moments. I'm just proud I'm no longer reduced to a hyperventilating, pulse-racing mess when they happen (anymore).
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