This is a new type of keeping up with the Joneses, for me, a way that goes beyond cars, and houses and who has the newest toy. So dangerous to want things because others have them, so dangerous to not be happy with what you do have; it scares me, this feeling. I’m caught off guard by my level of sadness, my longing, when all I expected was joy and excitement, happiness for my friend as she tells us about her new baby, due to meet us all in May.
I haven’t felt like a little sister in quite awhile; it’s been years since I’ve felt left behind, watching the big kids run off with new and exciting life experiences while I wait my turn. I was finally feeling Old Enough, feeling caught up, content, settled. The Boss and I go about our daily lives, and it’s not a manufactured ‘Happy In Spite Of’… it’s a ‘Happy Because Of’, a purposeful way of living, of prioritizing, of wanting to be the family we are, and feeling earnestly lucky to be so. I feel as though I’ve been gut punched, not expecting this overwhelming sadness, this feeling of being left behind, of wanting to catch up, again, always the little sister, always just almost a part of the group, and as I feel this I think “How unfair” and I think “I know this is what I want, who we are, right now” and I’m angry at myself for forgetting that, for feeling this way.
But as I sit around the fire pit, holding my friend’s nine month old in my lap, baby head against my chest, gummy fingers in my hair, I hear my friends discussing Pregnancy and Second Babies and Day Care and Working While Mom-ing and just for a moment I feel my heart beat: I-Want I-Want.