I'm not a thrill-seeker. I don't ride roller coasters, never have. I'm perfectly happy on the ground. And I'm perfectly happy with the life I have right now, with my romance, my work, everything. So when I think about the steep peeks and valleys, the risks and dangers of taking on parenthood with a man I've known for seven months, not to mention all the hard work and sleep deprivation and worry and stress, why do I get such a thrill? Why am I going ahead in pursuit of it?
When I was nineteen, I had a life changing moment eight feet above the ground. I hadn't bothered stabilizing a ladder before climbing. Why take ten minutes fussing when I'll only be up there for five? I thought. I was brazen, cavalier. But when I felt the ladder slip, adrenaline surged through my limbs. Thoughts of paralysis, death, sprained ankles, coursed through my mind. I got back to the ground quick. There and then I made a pact I've lived by ever since: Never again will I gamble anything I'm not willing to lose.
I don't want to lose this happiness. I don't want to lose this life I have right now. So why am I still going ahead with this crazy baby-making scheme?
I'm thinking of that movie, Parenthood, did you ever see it? The story revolves around the Steve Martin character, a supremely stressed out dad whose panic-attack moment during a disastrous school play is scored to the roar and rattle of a roller coaster. Later, his batty old Grandmother says something to him, out of the blue, that has always stuck with me.
Thanks to the wonders of internet research, I can share with you exactly what she said:
"You know, when l was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. It was just interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled all together. Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it."
And thanks to the wonders of the internet, I have my answer.
I'm proceeding with this cockamamy baby-making scheme because, as pleasant as my life is now, it's the merry-go-round. I already know that ride. I love it. But it gets old. I want the roller coaster life, with all its ups and downs and all its challenges and breathtaking views. Because I'll put more of myself into it, and I'll get more out of it. Simple as that.