The Accidental Parents
October 29th, 2009, posted by Aimee, Tags: Express Male: Hubby Talk
Blame it on good old Isla Vista, the post-adolescent playground by the sea where both Marcie and I retreated for four years of kamikaze shots and keggers on “DP” (Del Playa, for those who care) while ostensibly earning a degree from UC Santa Barbara. For some reason, both of us girls raised in the heart of suburbia took our own sweet time getting around to the business of growing up, let alone reaching mommyhood … and I took much longer than she did.
Unlike Marcie’s luck with her now hubby, none of my UCSB stoner surfer boyfriends endured far past graduation. Maybe it was the colder waters of Northern California or the decidedly less laid-back culture of early ‘90s San Francisco, but somehow the sandy blond boys were nowhere to be found in the City by the Bay … or at least in the preppy Marina district where I lived for most of my twenties. For seven years post college graduation, I stumbled through any number of bad boyfriends and even worse break-ups. There was the snowboarder from Vail who decided to keep his “options open” when he finally moved back to SF. And then there was the oh-so-soulful writer/artist (i.e., commitment-phobe) who admitted an addiction to Swedish au pairs. (I was “too American” for him.) Plus there were a fair share of guys I dumped along the way, too, mostly those deemed too “frat-guy” boring or conservative for my taste.
And then one night, more than 12 years ago, while hanging out at the local sushi bar waiting for a girlfriend to get off work, I met an adorable blonde surfer boy who captured my heart with his sweet conversation about Picasso, Camille Claudel and his big blue eyes. Little did I know he was six years my junior and still living with his mom. Yikes. By the time, the mysteries of our age gap and the difference in our life stages revealed themselves, we were already far into lust and moving quickly into the “I love you” phase, and it seemed too late to turn back.
Fast forward a few years. Aimee enters her thirties, starts to get worried about the big “M” word, and knows her guy just isn’t ready for that step. She doesn’t blame him and decides a break is the best thing for both of them to get what they need. Tears, bad dates, lots of denial, reunions and breaking up all over again … the pattern continues for a couple more years.
The final break-up arrived just after our six-year anniversary dinner. Calmly, I walked out the door certain that no matter what Nate wanted, I could not spend another minute feeling sad and longing to move on to the next step in our relationship. There were no ultimatums and no tears (at that moment …). Two weeks later, Nate … and a ring … landed on my doorstep.
All along there was little or no talk about kids or parenthood. We were both terrified at the prospect of having a child. And truth be told, I had resigned myself during all those years of breaking up and making up in my thirties to the real possibility of missing the mommy boat anyway. I told myself I would be just fine settling for cats and horses and lots of travel instead.
But after two years of marriage and at 37 years old, I woke up one day and decided it was now or never. Nate and I decided to give it one try, and that’s exactly what it took – one try and poof, preggers without a plan. Forget our tiny 900-square foot condo sans backyard on two of the city’s busiest streets, or my 70-hour/week job or our lack of plans for childcare. We were off to the races and the rest is history.