Last night after work I ventured out to Kohl’s for some leisure shopping. I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, so I wandered through the entire store aisle by aisle. This style of shopping drives my dear husband insane. He prefers the get in/get out/go home method. But I love leisure shopping (or looking, as Jonathan calls it), because I like to see everything!
So, I was innocently perusing through Kohl’s, and somewhere between handbags and home goods, I found myself in the baby section. Jonathan and I have several friends who are either pregnant or just welcomed new additions to their families. So I thought to myself, “Oh! I should get a few baby gifts for the new little ones.” What started as an innocent gesture led to my first official maternal moment.
–Flashback to a few weeks ago–
I was chatting away on the phone with one of my best girlfriends. To protect her identity, I’ll refer to her as Beyonce (if I am going to use a fake name, might as well make it funny).
Anyway, Beyonce and I have a lot in common. We’re both young, career-driven newlyweds. Beyonce and I were discussing the trials of marriage, swapping stories about our in-laws and loosely planning acouples’ trip to Italy when suddenly we found ourselves talking about–dum, dum, dum– pregnancy. Yes, offspring. Babies. Little humans. Spit-up. Diapers. All-nighters. Clearly, it’s a terrifying topic.
“So, I have a confession,” I said. “And you’re the only person I can tell, because I feel so silly even thinking it.”
“What?” Beyonce asked.
“I secretly want to have a baby,” I confessed with a hint of embarrassment in my voice (after all, I am still technically a newlywed, just started a new career and live too far from my family to even consider it). The thought of creating a human at this stage in my life felt pretty ridiculous.
“Oh-My-God!” she exclaimed. “Me too.”
It was a revelation.
As the conversation continued, Beyonce and I decided that our desire to procreate is probably pretty normal for women in our circumstances. Apparently there is some truth to the old adage – first comes love,then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. It’s ingrained in our culture. We can’t control the urge, we decided. But we can control how we respond to it.
“It’s not like we’re those women who buy baby supplies even though we’re not even close to starting a family,” Beyonce said.
“Exactly,” I agreed. “That would be pathetic.”
–Back in the baby section at Kohl’s–
I found an adorable dress for Baby Katie, the cutest outfit for tiny Claire and a sweet jumpsuit for little Leah. With my purchases in hand, I started toward the cash registers.
And then I saw it… the teensiest, tiniest turquoise track suit with a big red embroidered strawberry on the front. Have I ever mentioned that turquoise is the color of Zeta Tau Alpha(my college sorority)? Have I ever mentioned that strawberries are the Zeta Tau Alpha symbol of friendship? This little track suit was obviously custom made for a future Zeta. I checked the price tag. $8.00! Clearance! Must. Buy. It.
And suddenly, I was one of those women. Not planning. Not pregnant. But for some reason compelled to buy this charming little outfit.
“This will be the perfect baby gift for one of my sorority sisters someday,” I told myself, trying my very best to justify purchasing the outfit. But in my heart, I knew that I probably wouldn’t give it away. The truth is, I suddenly saw my own little Zeta lady wearing it. It was the first time I could envision my own child’s face looking at me, wearing a sweet strawberry embroidered turquoise track suit.
It was my first maternal moment.
I left Kohl’s with four baby outfits… Three for actual live baby girls, and one for the baby girl I could someday call my daughter.