Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fears Revealed

(Warning: This post is kind of a serious one. I won't be talking about running or dogs...well, ok I will be talking about dogs, but I will be sharing with the blogosphere something that has really been on my heart and mind lately.)

So here goes...

I can't imagine having kids.

I know this is a pretty bold statement, but it is one that has been dancing around in my head for the past few years. I used to not like kids. And then a few weeks ago I thought that I may be pregnant. This was really, really terrifying to me. Turns out that I'm not pregnant and had just eaten too many Ramen Noodles.

When I was in high-school I always imagined that I would live out my days alone, yet surrounded by a few faithful canine companions. Luckily, I met the man of my dreams and married him in 2005 and I was able to push aside the thoughts of being alone in this world. But now we are wrestling with the idea of kids. And, I do like kids now. Several of our friends have kids...Athan, Morgan, Lucy, Azzy, Trey, Margot, Israel and the little buns in the oven of Hannah and Charis and my niece Brittany have truly helped me to see what a joy having children in your life can be.

But then I think the about this fallen world that we live in. Death, disease, hate, accidents and so much more...these things terrify me. I look upon my friends and family members who are mothers with great respect. It's a hard job...and I struggle all the time with whether I would be cut out for it. I know that Chad will be a wonderful father, so much so that it breaks my heart to think that because of my fear...he may never get the chance to be one.

And that is why I think I enjoy dogs so much. They are manageable and safe. To a certain extent, most dogs are completely reliant on their owners. Our mini-dachshund Emma looks to us for food, water, love, affection, discipline, exercise, etc. As she grows and the years pass, she will stay right by our side. We don't have to let her out into this world for her to explore on her own. While she would probably love the freedom of being able to chase with reckless abandon any squirrel, bunny or cat that comes across her path, she seems pretty content to stay with us.

While we are on vacation in Louisiana, our friends Justin and Charis are going to be staying at our house and watching Emma for us. Emma absolutely adores Justin and Charis. They are like her Uncle Jessie and Aunt Becky. Truth be told, Emma will probably be disappointed when we get back from vacation and Justin and Charis go back to their house. But I find myself gripped with fear at the thought of leaving her. It is an irrational fear for many reasons - one being that there is no one that we trust her more with than Justin and Charis.

About 90% of my anxiety comes from my own doing and my OCD tendencies...I follow the same routine with her everyday and know just how she reacts to different situations on walks, just how she likes the blankets in her crate to be folded, where she likes her back legs to be scratched, etc. I find comfort and almost pride in this - "knowing" her better than anyone else. I'm finding that it is sometimes hard to hand over something you cherish to people you love. I know I am making this a whole lot huger of an ordeal than it needs to be and this is a lot to put in a blog post, but writing this has allowed me to come to some realizations that I might not have come to with the thoughts just bouncing around in my head. When it comes time for us to leave for the airport, I'm going to take a deep breath, give Emma a kiss on the head (over towards her right ear, she really likes that), thank Justin and Charis profusely for watching her, and leave my worries in Kentucky as we head south.

So I don't know where this leaves me with the whole kids thing. I think that leaving Emma for 10 days will be an exercise in growing more and fearing less. More on this topic to come as I continue to flesh things out.

PS: Here are some pictures of Emma for everyone to enjoy.

Enjoying an al fresco dinner this summer.

Emma, being dramatic.

Begging for a belly rub.

On vacation in Alexandria last year. This is her favorite spot -
a wicker loveseat in The Brooks' sun room.

Emma and her mama (me) before the Jessamine County Humane Society 5k, May 2007


amberly said...

you are brave, friend. anyone who can write like that is brave. honesty takes guts.

i will pray for you. mostly, i will pray that the perfect love of Jesus will drive out fear, and that you can live and make decisions that are not fear-driven or fear-based. i pray that fear and anxiety would begin to melt, and that peace would take over your heart and soul with determined permanence.

whether or not you decide to have kids, i pray you find peace about living and loving just how Jesus calls YOU to do.

i'm humbly thankful to have a friend like you...

jen said...

Good post, thanks for putting that out there. I can absolutely relate to your feelings about having kids. I don't even have a dog and don't know anyone with kids, what makes me think I'd be able to handle it?? Scary stuff.

Great pictures, Emma is adorable. :)

Dru said...

Meredith -- I share in your fear of raising a child in today's world. I also have a schlew of other fears in my mind for Israel.

1. Is he getting enough to eat?
2. Is he happy when he's awake?
3. When will we find out the results of his blood test? What will the answer be?
4. How do we know if we're doing everything right and giving him what he needs?

I've even found myself being scared that he may have stopped breathing in his sleep...

My only solution to fear is to pray about it. My sister, Kate, told me that if God isn't big enough to understand our fears then He isn't who He says He is.

I join you in feeling uncertain about feeling safe in this world and not having the answers to the toughest questions about life. I will also join Amberly in praying for you and Chad as you discover the plans God already has for you and yours.

Mir said...

Nice post--very genuine. It's a pleasure to read something so real and honest every now and then. :)

Michemily said...

I worry, too. People have reminded me several times that life is about people, and wouldn't it be lonely in old age without having had a family? I guess so, but that doesn't allay my fears that just gives a reason to have kids. But anyway, I think I'll get to that point some day. Just not now.