There is an unfair responsibility that comes with being an only child – you grow up knowing you aren’t allowed to disappoint, you’re not even allowed to die. There isn’t a replacement toddling around; you’re it. It makes you desperate to be flawless, and it also makes you drunk with power. In such ways are despots made. – From Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
It’s a New Year and that means resolutions! One of the hundred that I’m trying to keep is to read much, much more. Like a book every few days kind of reading. Thank God I picked Gone Girl to start off my year of continuous, every-single-night-even-if-I-have-an-event-to-cover-and-The-Real-Housewives-of-Every-Single-County-are-on book reading project.
It’s a thriller of sorts that my sister recommended. When I read the first sentence of the synopsis – “Marriage can be a real killer” – I knew it was my kind of book.
It’s the kind of book that makes you think that you’re really going to keep up your New Year’s resolution.
I won’t give the story away, but lets just say its about two people – two married people – who begin to dislike each other after just five years of marriage and they don’t even have a child. My husband Ross and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary next week. When I told him that some of the fights (in just the first section of the book) reminded me of our arguments, he told me not to worry. “We liked each other before Harry,” he deadpanned.” What he means is, pre-child we were perfect. Post-child, we’ve had some ups and downs. But because we solidified a bond pre-child, our relationship is unbreakable. Sounds good to me.
In a very crazy way, Gone Girl goes into people having a baby to save a marriage, a concept that I now know is so completely ridiculous I can hardly believe the thought exists. Babies don’t save marriages, they make you work harder at your relationship because, really, how romantic are night feeds at 3 in the morning, continuously wiping poop off a butt, and being spit-up on? But now that Harry is two, I can honestly say that toddlers actually do bring people closer, or at least Harry has brought Ross and me closer. I guess that’s because Ross and I like humans. Little human beings that can say ‘thank you’ (or as Harry says ‘thennn q”), walk up stairs, laugh, smile, sleep for eight hours straight and, best of all, say “I love you” (Harry talk = I luvooo). Frankly, it’s amazing. I can finally say that I get it. I get why people procreate. It took a while, but I finally understand. Hallelujah!
Now comes the hard part. Should we have another one? I promised myself during the first six months of Harry’s life that I would never, ever do it again unless I suddenly became extraordinarily wealthy and could afford a night nurse who would stay at my house for an entire year. But now that Harry is two and I can finally see how incredible he is, I’m thinking with my mind (thank you for that incredible line, Brad Womack) that I should maybe consider another child. Not now! No way. But maybe in a year? Not only is practically every woman who was pregnant when I was pregnant, pregnant with their second, but I’m getting older and Ross is approaching mid-life-crisis mode. I’ve got to make a decision – soon!
That’s what I was thinking last night in bed instead of reading. But then I channeled #84 on my list of 100 New Year’s resolutions: Relax More. After that revelation, I took a deep breath and resumed reading.