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by Amy Pitsker

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by Amy Pitsker

I noticed it on the bus the other day, and now I notice it everywhere. Babies seem to catch my eye. They see me and lock eyes, encouraging goofy faces of surprise and glee from my usual deadpan public transport expression.

It's as if they know I'm "of an age" and still childless. They know the secret of my late-blooming desires. I have always said that I liked to think I'd want children some day, that I just didn't have the urge -- yet. And still no "yet."

But I'm under 40 and feel no pressure from an internal maternal clock. And I'm just about to sanctify for the state and family my committed relationship to my fiancé. I like to take small steps: quit the job before getting the next job, decide to move and then find an apartment, one day at a time. I'm about to get married and be legally bound to the man I love. I can't think about what's beyond. And yet babies have been smiling at me lately.

Were I more inclined to paranoia I would view it as a conspiracy of nature: creating these cuddly-looking bundles of smiles to entice us into wanting one. How can we resist? Particularly those who don't mind acting the fool with exaggerated lips and wide open eyes -- "coo-chee-coo, little one." I do get the oddest looks from other bus passengers.

The other day in the local produce market I ran into a friend with his baby. Lucca looked at me from atop his father's shoulders and gave me a sparsely toothed grin. Flirt that he is. It's easy to imagine that he might be like that all the time, perennially generous and winsome.

Experience tells me otherwise. My friends' children can be alternately melodramatic, cranky, glum, whiny, inconsolable, or just plain furious. Just as they can be whimsical, cheerful, wondrous, exuberant, charming, and so full of life. Like anything, there are trade-offs.

Perhaps when I'm passionately settled in my relationship -- no longer making the loneliness trade off for being happily single and unfettered -- I'll be able to consider a baby of my own, tantrums and all. But for now I'm contented to sit back on the bus and respond to the babies who smile at me.


I now have a 16-month old child, so I guess it worked.

Amy F. Pitsker
writer - editor - teacher


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"We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something."
— Sandra Day O'Connor

"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade."
— Chinese Proverb

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once
she grows up."
— Pablo Picasso


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 - Pregnancy
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    Maiden, Maid, Crone,

Reprint from "Mothering" Magazine

During times in our lives when we feel oppressed or dominated by others, it can be difficult to remain hopeful or to feel powerful. The early days and weeks of motherhood are one of those times. We love the baby madly, but mourn the loss of control over our own lives. In order to regain a semblance of control, we learn new attitudes and habits for tough times. -- More>>

Acknowlegments...how to acknowledge our loved ones? More>>

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