Several years ago, my friend, Caesar, told me that women who have given birth will always consider women who have not given birth to be “lesser women.” I had always dismissed that assessment as being somehow misogynist, but today I finally understand what he meant by it.
Sitting here in a delivery room with my best friend, who is forty weeks pregnant and is waiting for an induction, I suddenly realize the divide between the two of us ladies. I feel as though right now we are equals, just two scared and giddy girls who are waiting for this little baby to magically come out. This little baby girl is going to change everything for my friend’s life. She will undoubtedly impact our friendship. I’m cognizant of the upcoming changes and also wary. I’m not ready for change. My life is becoming more like that of a younger person’s, while my best friends are all “growing up” and taking on the responsibilities I shirk — parenthood, home-ownership, marriage, commitment.
With the coming of this child, my friend passes from the ranks of childless adult-children — not quite mature, not quite grown-up, not quite responsible — to the other side. By accepting the care of another human life she immediately accepts responsibility for far more than herself. She stops being the scared little girl and instantly grows up to have one of her own. She becomes responsible for the fears of another, which is something I’ve never wanted for myself. I have far too many fears of my own.