Raced home last night (as much as one can race on Belgrave line), immediately donned walking gear and harnessed up the dogs for walk. I don’t normally walk both on my own but BBF was away in Canberra for work, and they needed the exercise (and so did I).
The dogs were his before we met, and in the early days it was quite easy to win them over – Human liked me, so I must be alright. They won me over immediately though. I wish I could explain how much I love them.
They are very different animals. Bob is a retired show dog, highly strung 33 kilo bundle of German shorthair, very handsome animal with liver coloured head and the softest floppy ears in Bayswater. Ex pound dog George is his dark adoptive twin – a large black lab crossed with god knows what, with a lovely warm heavy head that nestles into my lap after a hard day.
They are a lot of work. They (loudly) demand food, walks and pats. I relish the days I can work from home and can pay them some attention, throw the ball around and scratch their tummies during the day. They take a lot of time and effort and responsibility – but give us so much love in return. And as I walk them around the dim neighbourhood streets, as they pull and sniff; as I attempt to correct them as we pass other dogs, possums and cats; and out collective breath can be seen in warm puffs, I think…God I love this. I love these animals. But they are a lot of work and worry.
And as I inch, resisting, like Bob on his leash, towards my late 30s, that question I have been putting off for many years asks for – nay, insists on an answer.
Do we have a child?
To be completely honest, I have never felt especially maternal. I really like children, and I am happy to hold a baby, play games with older ones, be one of those fun adults, but I have never been convinced that my happiness will be influenced by having one. That said I am not convinced that having one will make me particularly unhappy either. I just don’t know. Few people actually believe me when I admit my ambivalence. They say ‘Oh, you will change your mind’ or ‘You won’t regret having one’. Um, ok? Still not convinced sorry.
Although I hear no clocks (I really don’t, trust me on this one), and that twanging uterus other women speak of has never happened to me, the reality is, I am 36 this year, and my supply of baby making ingredients is probably dwindling, so if this is a project we want to pursue, we will have to ramp up soon. I have a number of friends who have had, or are having, expensive and draining fertility treatment. I don’t know if I could deal with that. The world is already getting overpopulated and we are running out of natural resources (a blog for another time sorry peeps) and it frightens me when I think of what the next few generations have to look forward to. What sort of life could we promise a child? I am also a natural worrier, and the worry I feel about Belgrave line / the dogs / the world already add to my innate anxiety. A child would surely make me the worst kind of worried mother.
What about my partner, I hear you ask. Well, it would probably be useful if BBF had a strong opinion on this. His comment is ‘it has never been a priority’ has been consistent in the three years we have been together and I believe him. He would make a good parent – he is the kindest man I know, as well as possessing the best vintage Lego collection in Melbourne. Taking away the emotion involved, and looking at this sensibly, I think we could be quite good at raising a family. But just because we could, doesn’t necessarily mean we should.
And anyway, how would our dogs react? My poor darlings.
Running update: Couldn’t run very far yesterday, legs like lead, couldn’t find rhythm, couldn’t find good playlist, But DO have new strength program to try up the ante a bit.