Self-Help Memoir Miniature: Expect Change (Alone and Together, Part Thirty-One)

The last thing that David and I have learned while being together I want to tell you about is this: let the other person change you—and let them change, too.

Ever since I have known David, he has wanted to have kids. When we first met, though, I did not. He is the one that made me change my mind.

That happens, I guess, when circumstances change along with it.

As I told you before, I was married for nine months. With my ex-husband, I never considered having a baby. I went to the doctor and asked to have my tubes tied, but he said no.

Even then I could tell that he was a kind and good man.

At that time, I was still depressed. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to handle having children, though I didn’t realize it was because I was depressed. I just thought I didn’t want them because it wasn’t my style, and I wanted to do other, more important things instead.

I told the doctor this, but he didn’t believe me. He gave me an IUD instead.

I will be grateful to him forever for that.

Later, after my divorce, when David and I talked on the phone for the first time, he asked me why I didn’t want to have kids. I had told him this in an email already, and he had told me that he definitely wanted kids and we agreed that our relationship was probably doomed.

On the phone that day, though, I explained my thoughts on the matter. I told him that I didn’t want kids because I wanted to do other things and I didn’t think I could do both. He asked me what things I wanted to do.

It was a good question.

In the moment before replying, which lasted under one second, I made a decision. I decided that someday, I might want to have kids after all.

That is how things change.

Of course, I didn’t tell David that. Not right then. I just told him I didn’t know. Then later, a few weeks into our relationship, we talked about it again.

We were in bed. It was during one of the many all-night conversations that we had when we first started dating when he didn’t have a job and I was only working part-time, and when we would go over all of the things you would want your soul mate to know about you forever, and a lot of inconsequential things as well.

At one point, late that night, he put his hand on my stomach.

“Why are you doing that?” I asked.

“I like it,” he said.

“Why do you like it?” I said.

“Because that is where the babies come from.”

“Aw,” I said. “That’s sweet.”

We lay in silence for a few minutes. Then I said, “I might like to have babies someday.”

“Really?” he said, looking at my face.

“Yes,” I said. “Baby kitties.”

I laughed. He hit me playfully, saying not to joke about such things. But I told him I was just kidding.

I wanted human babies after all.

On Christmas morning—the second one that David and I spent together—we woke up at my mother’s house. No one was home, and since we had celebrated at my sister’s the night before, there was nothing to do, and no presents to open.

There was just me and David.

And that was okay. Presents are nothing to me anymore, I thought as I looked at my husband in his pajamas and made him an egg. Everything I have the right to ask for in this life is already here.


Babies come. But babies don't go. Get Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Story on Amazon now.