I've made a surprising friend in grad school. He's a guy. He's almost 13 years younger than me. And he and his wife have a ten month old baby.
I started talking to him at orientation and we had a lot of things in common. I thought that was pretty cool until he mentioned something about his baby and I immediately thought, crap, well we'll see where this goes. I even came home and told my husband that I met someone cool but he had a baby so we'd see.
Turns out, he's a really nice and funny guy. He doesn't talk about his kid incessantly and the few pictures of the kid he has shared with me are super cute. I even shared with him that I wanted kids badly and couldn't have them and that's what brought me to grad school. It's a very surprising friendship. But this program is so hard, his wife is awesome, my husband is awesome, and I keep saying that, between the four of us, we WILL survive. And maybe even graduate.
Yesterday I went to his house to work on some projects. I was curious how I would feel since I still feel pretty raw about babies in particular. Of course, their house had toys and baby things everywhere, but it didn't bother me. In fact, I loved seeing the kid's room; it was just so cute. I even went with my friend to pick up the baby from daycare. The daycare was adorable. There were no funny smells and it was decorated so cutely. We went to the baby room and when we walked in about six babies were just staring up at me and I kind of wanted to take them all home. I smiled at and talked to each of them, asking how their day was but obviously not expecting an answer haha. As we walked back to the car, I had a moment of sadness as I thought about how I'd never be picking my kid up from childcare. I didn't say anything to my friend or even my husband when I got home. I just felt the sadness and then let it pass, and, thankfully, it did pass. Mostly.
This is my life and there's really nothing I can do about it. I tried my best to have kids, it didn't happen, and I am surviving.
I've wondered why this new friend's baby (who is one super cute baby, by the way) doesn't bother me like other friend's and family member's babies have. I think part of it is I am healing a bit. I am not allowing myself to stay stuck in my despair. (How I'm not allowing myself, I'm not so sure. Maybe moving and school have helped me move forward?) But I think another part is that my friend is so young. I wasn't even with my husband when I was his age. Because it's not even possible that my husband and I could have had a kid together at his age, I'm just not jealous.
I don't like my feelings of jealousy and avoidance, but I can't deny that they're there either. But things like this new friendship help me to believe that I am slowly but surely healing, and for that I am thankful.