I am at that certain age and marital status where people - and by "people" I mean everyone from near strangers to friends I have known for years - are compelled to ask, "When are you having children?"
It's not entirely their fault, what with me being of that "certain age", my wedding ring starting to dull after two years, my friends joyfully having babies, etc., etc. But then again, my husband and I don't exactly embrace a lifestyle that screams, much less hints, at planning for parenthood. We live in a rented apartment, we don't have a proper dining room table, we dry clean our jeans, and last year we bought a horse. And then there are our trips to Paris; those already taken and those being planned.
I keep waiting for the itch, the longing, the urge, the feeling of tears pricking my eyes as I hear a stranger's baby cry at Starbucks but non, all I want is Paris. My Paris-logical clock is ticking.
I think about moments in my life gone by that could have in Paris like my first kiss and my first sip of champagne. I think about moments in my life spent in Paris and I long to go back; I long to market, I long to take classes at the Sorbonne, I long to have a Parisian address, and I long to spend Sundays strolling the streets of Paris with my husband. And when I think about not having this life, I anticipate regret that stretches beyond my ovaries and sticks itself in the deepest places of my heart.
Idealistic, mais oui. But I am no different from a woman my age who believes that having a baby will be all about cozy late night feedings by candlelight and days spent at mommy-baby yoga classes followed by lattes and naps. I know Paris wouldn't be all abricot crepes and beautiful things. I know my husband and I would argue and I know my anxieties would learn to speak French.
About two weeks ago, I tentatively said to my husband, "What about living in Paris one day?" To my delight, he didn't tell me I was crazy. Instead we indulged in a fantastical conversation about the possibility of this dream and how we really could make it happen. As we talked and talked, we came up with more things that we love about Paris, and we agreed to make it a priority to spend more time there over the next several years. Next September, we are planning another two weeks divided between the south of France and Paris.
My Paris-logical clock is still ticking but I believe it will one day be silenced by the sound of us practicing French in our Parisian apartment. La belle vie awaits...