neighbors and babies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

new york brownstone

there is this couple that lives in the brownstone next to us. i don't know their name nor do they know mine. i DO know their dog's name and he is the sweetest.

they are the couple that has everything a little bit better than you. i don't say this in a way that is ungrateful for anything that i have. but it's only human to compare ourselves to others. they own a car in the city, neighbor girl's hair is long and wavy, and she is perfectly dressed just so even when she walks the dog. me and sam wiggins hang in our yoga pants for doggie walks.

i've watched them from afar, though we literally share a wall. for whatever reason, they remind me of ed and myself. i'm enamored with these people and i might be crazy for it.

i often sit in the window and watch people walk by while waiting for ed to come home. last week i saw neighbor couple packing a car seat and bassinet into their perfect new york car. how did i miss that she was pregnant?! i watched every move they made. husband came back to the car each time with a new item and strategically played tetris trying to fit everything in their BMW station wagon. last to go was their astute irish setter who happily jumped in the back hatch.

husband patiently got in the car, adjusted the music, cranked up the AC, looked on his ipad for directions and made a few phone calls. stunning neighbor wife came out nearly 30 minutes later and hopped in the car. they shared a peck on the lips and headed along their way.

i saw no sign of a baby so i can only assume they were headed to the hospital for a planned pregnancy. at least that's how my story goes.

i watched husband fidget in the car, waiting for her. i thought of all the times ed waits and WAITS for me in a car while i make sure i left the apartment just so and give sam wiggins one last kiss on his forehead. when i get in the car he never asks what took me so long. he knows i puttered my way out of the house as i'm never in a hurry to get anywhere.

for whatever reason, watching neighbor couple out the window left me in an emotional disarray. i never talk about babies on here because, well, i don't want a bubbly baby of my own anytime soon. my career is not where i want it to be and if you asked me what my career was.... i couldn't really tell you. i assure you i don't have it together.

but neighbor couple and their forthcoming child messed with my head. i imagined ed putting in a car seat and re-arranging our imaginary car full of baby items plus a sam wiggins. i didn't mind the thought. i did not mind the thought.

new york brownstone photo by lee brown.

62 comments:

Nikki said...

I love this post. That is all ;)

Brooklyn said...

Love this! I don't want a baby any time soon (and maybe never) but we do live in a neighborhood FULL of toddlers and kids....sometimes I do imagine how cute the husband and a mini-him would be :)

Camme said...

Sweet, beautiful girl of my heart...after the many many years of knowing and seeing you grow up into the glorious creature you are today, and the way you cared for Alexis when you were with her, I have no doubt the mother you will be one day...you are wise to wait until you are sure. I assure YOU that you DO have it together. Never doubt it. Look at what you and Ed have done over the years. Moved from "small town USA" to the BIG city of NYC with barely knowing a soul, have good jobs and are living life the way you think it should be. Follow your heart and the rest will fall neatly into place. Miss you so much :)

rebecca said...

camme-
and now you made me cry.

in dreams said...

i know what you mean! i've been feeling weird-baby-anxiety for a while...i keep vacillating between yes and no (yesterday was a yes, not sure what today will be yet!). it's hard watching other peoples' lives from the outside - there's always that one example of the 'perfect' couple...you just happen to live next to them. however, if i had to choose whose life i'd want to read about, it would be yours. perfect people are boring.

sumslay said...

You know, I'd always heard that 28 is when a normally sane girl gets baby crazy. Well, that didn't happen to me. However, i just turned 30, and.....babies don't repulse me as much as they used to, I'll say that. However, I still worry about them getting the "crazy" gene. Like, what if I have a kid like my aunt martha. or what if they turn into a cheerleader with no interest in classic rock or history whatsoever. Or they're just a dumb raging whore. See, these are the things I think about!

jen said...

i've been married for 9 years this july. i am 31 in august. for several years i went back and forth on whether i wanted children at all. a couple years ago it ended with a resounding "yes" but a firm "not yet". i wasn't happy in my job, in my location. since then we have sold a house, moved to our favorite city, settled in and now, NOW we're ready. it's a wonderful feeling because i had always heard "when you're ready, you'll know" and it's true!
so watch the neighbors as they start on this new phase and when you're ready to do the same, you'll know. :)
beautiful post.

Robyn said...

we all do this-but don't think about it-they may be miserable...maybe they are adopting...maybe they are miserable and adopting...

Rik said...

:)

Erika said...

This was so lovely and poignant. So many of us gals of a "certain age" know exactly how you feel. I am convinced that no one has it figured out completely. I too "spy" on the perfect couples and perfect women but then I remember that the way things look on the outside are misleading. I’m sure they have the same insecurities, the same longing when they look at someone else who is “perfect”.

By the way, I still don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going, yet I find myself with a sweet 2.5 year old blonde boy (how did THAT happen?) who doesn’t seem care one bit. These days I still make it up as I go along in my private lovely and uncertain chaos.

Merri said...

I also love this post. So much. And the above comment about having a daughter who turns out to be a dumb raging whore.

Victoria said...

What a lovely sounding couple! I feel like I just got a little people watching in myself. Starting up a new family is exciting....Don't let not minding letting yourself imagine it was you instead surprise you. You may be more ready than you think!?!?

The Bebebirds said...

Aw I loved reading this! I do the same with our neighbors, except they are crazy and have a screaming toddler...therefore I do not want THAT child. But, I understand the unexpected baby pangs. I get them too when I see my prego friends and their sweet baby bumps and husbands running around doing things for them. Even though I'm not ready either...it's still a really sweet thought.

Brooke

the sassy kathy said...

beautiful post! i can definitely relate

rebecca said...

jen-
good advice. :)

rachel kirk peterson said...

i really like this post, too--mostly because i have the same thoughts. 28 and not sure what my career is and if i am ready for a baby. i am starting to feel like "this is the time" (so corny) yet i am not quite ready financially or otherwise. i have hope that when i am ready, i will know.

ana {bluebirdkisses} said...

beautiful post, than, you so much for sharing your thoughts. I do this sometimes too, with different things, and I think its just human nature to always look for something more perhaps. I'm sure your life is making someone else cry too...maybe even your stunning neighbour lady.

dreamday said...

lovely post rebecca. maybe our stories of one another's lives from our own window are all the same. like a line of perfect dominoes until we look just a little closer and that tiny wisp of wonder causes them to all tumble down.

Gita said...

I must say I'm having the same thoughts sometimes. And hell no, I'm not even close to be ready for having a baby. But.... I think about little details like that. My boy taking care of thing like that, me being a happy pregnant lady, etc. :)

xx
http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Soule said...

Thank you for sharing. I too find myself staring, wondering and wishing I had it together.

Britta said...

Hope you don't mind me commenting, but I've had those moments too. Moments like these help us think and evaluate who we are and where we want to be. Follow your heart and let God fill in the gaps. For me, a life in NYC as a young professional working in an industry I always dreamt about didn't happen and wasn't to be, but I am happy with the cards that were dealt for me. P.S. People watching is fascinating, isn't it? I love it.

Monica L. Shulman said...

This might be my favorite writing from you. It's so honest and forthcoming to admit that we admire from afar and compare ourselves to every single person around us. I can almost guarantee that neighbor girl does it too...maybe with you and Ed and Sam, maybe with her co-worker or best friend. We all do it.

I think that most people don't have it "together" - there's always something. And who is to say that that's not okay? Everyone has their "thing" - their one or two or ten things that they wonder about, that they wish they would change or that they wish was just a little bit better or different. And to me that's just fine and it brings me comfort to know I'm not alone when I'm spying on my neighbors who I think "have it all".

and ps--thinking about him putting in the car seat makes me laugh bc the first time we put in the baby's car seat was about 3 weeks before she was born and it took us an hour to figure the thing out since apparently you have to be a rocket scientist to do it. And I was so enormous and it was boiling hot outside and we were double-parked bc of course we couldn't find a parking space. And, my husband STILL has a mental block when it comes to installing the car seat (and collapsing the stroller) and our child is almost 2! And btw, we had the box with the car seat in our apt for 2 months and I was using it as a table to eat bc we didn't have a proper table and I was too big to sit on the floor and eat at the coffee table. I kept imagining people in their perfect homes with their perfect table and chairs wondering how on earth I could be a mom if I was using a cardboard box to lean my plate on. And you know...it worked out.

rebecca said...

monica-
huge grin on my face. :)

Monica L. Shulman said...

And whoever Camme is, she made smile too. Bc it's funny that sometimes we somehow need other people to tell us things about ourselves that are seemingly obvious (to everyone else). I obviously don't know you that well but we're getting to know each other and before I even met you in person I had already told my sister all about this funny woman who blogs and who has the greatest voice, and that I thought it was so awesome that you up and moved your life here after coming for your honeymoon and that you had the world's most photogenic and adorable dog. So...yeah.

Rebeka said...

This is a really, really wonderful post. I'm pretty sure everyone does this - exactly what you're describing. And maybe that's part of what makes us grow and change.

I think that it is wonderful that you know that you want a baby someday but that you are mature enough to wait until the time is right. The time will be right eventually, and it is so wonderful that you aren't rushing into it. You are so responsible and grown up :)

And p.s. from blog-world, you seem to have your life so, so together and it seems so wonderful that I am envying YOU from afar :)

I'm Sydney. said...

hmm. very thoughtful post.

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

This is just the most beautiful, poignant post. I think we all have those women, either permanent or passing through our lives, who make us feel like unmade, messy versions of themselves, but when you can channel all those feelings into something wonderful, something positive...well, maybe that's something you could teach us, too.

littleone said...

I love how imperfectly perfect this post is. And I'm sure the same could be said of all of us reading it regardless of how we see it now.

(thank you for sharing this)

juliana said...

lovely post :)

Shoko said...

So lovely. I feel this way sometimes, too, and I'm not even in a relationship! :) I have to remind myself that there is plenty of time ahead of me for that stage of my life, and that I should embrace where I am now while it's happening. Not always easy. Thanks for sharing something so personal - love it.

Anonymous said...

I had the babies - they're 12, 10, and 7 - and now when I see new moms or women who are pregnant, I get a similar jolt of yearning. I think, "How did that go so fast? - That was me just one minute ago." So we're all feeling it in some way. And for the record, I do think you'll know if and when you're ready :).

likeyourteeth.com said...

Babies in NYC is a completely different animal than babies anywhere else.. I get anxiety just thinking about it and I am truly amazed when I see people who make it work :)

rebecca said...

like your teeth-
true statement.

sheri said...

Rebecca - what a truly incredible post. You know what a fan I am of you and your blog and I have to say that this revealed a side of you that I never imagined. Isn't this blog thing amazing? You create a whole person strictly based on what they post about! I envision you such a confident, pulled-together young woman without a single doubt about where she's going and what her future holds. And while all of those things are certainly true, I shouldn't have been at all surprised to know that you sometimes second guess your choices and decisions. I so admired that post you wrote a while back about waiting 10 years. I remembered thinking that I wished I had been as mindful at your age as you so clearly are. But I'm sure you already know that the fact that you are able and willing to tap into the unexpected emotions are just another sign of what a smart and intuitive person you already are. I loved this and commend you for sharing another side of you with your bloggy fans........

oh,henry! said...

girl, really... i love your brain! :)

Kayla Poole said...

yes yes yes! This is so beautifully constructed and conveyed, my dear. I like your thoughts and hearing how they come to be.

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

This reminds me of a true story. I grew up in an apartment building and as a teenager I would watch this girl from across the street and her boyfriend come and go all the time. It wasn't that I was following them or anything, it just happen to be that every time I was sitting in the balcony they would appear in the scene. So, I would see how he would get out of his car, ring the intercom, get in the car, wait for her...I could even spot here in her apartment walking from one end to another, then she'd appear downstairs, etc etc etc. I called them "the girl and her boyfriend" (yeap very creative). Anyway, years passed and I started College. It turns out that "the girl" was best friends with a friend of mine and we ended up being really good friends. And of course I confessed! It was actually a pretty funny scene how I realized she was the girl with the boyfriend, we laughed about it so much!

rebecca... said...

,,,i get it. i really do. for i'm feeling some of the same as you.,,,

tytty said...

I've been struggling so hard battling an illness. I watch people on the streets from the car and get envious at how *normal* their lives are

Lonely Wife Project said...

My favorite kind of blog post! I'm enamored by other people's lives and have been known to "spy" on neighbors or even people sitting next to me at restaurants. I was the kid who went to the mall to people watch.

P.S. Your Ed is pretty sweet for not pressuring you to hurry up. I wish I could say the same for my husband.

Susan said...

Aw...that's how it all begins, and it is very sweet.

Julie-White Tapestry said...

I love this post...and I think that it's those times in our lives that makes you take a step back and feel an emotion or have a thought that you may not have had otherwise or...if nothing else it's always fun to stalk, lol! BTW, let's hang...soon!

TheBeautyFile said...

I like this post, Rebecca, I really, really do. I was just hanging out with a very close friend of mine from college today. She keeps me in check. She tells me like it is. Honestly, openly, without shame. She told me today, and I quote, "everyone's life looks perfect from the outside." It stuck with me as I drove home through her INCREDIBLE neighborhood. And will probably stick with me for a long time. Because everything she says usually does. As bloggers we are naturally observers, for better or for worse. And as bloggers we of course, are voyeurs, we all are. In life. On the internet. It just comes with the territory. I look, you look, we all freaking look. Nothing is perfect. Absolutely nothing. I assure you. But when you're ready and not when your career is ready (because, as evidence from my life, this does not always happen in that order) you will come to your own decision. Ducks need not be in a straight row. And they might not ever be. Also, I love your use of the word, "putter."

TheBeautyFile said...

ps: Camme gave me the chills.

Kari said...

I'm a lurker who came out to say that I loved this post!

Erin@lovesomeblog.com said...

This is really lovely. Nice post.

Ashley Doan said...

You're right...it is natural to compare and picture yourselves in the shoes of others.

My husband and I have been trying for over a year now with no success...YET! It's joyous for us to see other couples that have had successes even though it does give you a little "pang" in the heart while wishing you were at the same point in your life as they are with theirs. However, we are having one hell of a time on the journey to that point! Your own journey might have a few unfinished chapters at this time, but write them as you go. Don't hold back :)

krystal/village said...

I didn't want a baby anytime soon, but now I'm getting one soon (sept) and it's alright. :) you def can't wait until you have it figured out, we're across the ocean from family and I've worked for a year in pharma when i should be a therapist...sigh. now a child!

ag. said...

i absolutely adore this post. i don't think i can say much more as i was just so struck but how much emotion came out of such a well written post. just perfect. : )

tiffany of camp1899 said...

hello.. this is my first time on your blog, and the first entry i've read and i'm smitten. i love the watching of the neighbors and that you and she have in common.. husbands that are sweet and carefree about the time they waited for you to come out of the house.. great post! look forward to more... xo, t.

moseyblog said...

Great post! And you know what's also such a great thing about this post - the comments! I feel relieved to know that not every woman is 100% about when to have a kid or even having one at all. Makes me feel a lot less alone in this whole somewhat scary issue. So thank you!

the lil bee said...

Well, that just gave me chills:)

Lauren Knight said...

Wow. Such a window into the soul. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts!

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

omg, so funny, sweet + cute. kudos!

xx,
Aja Lake
the gold hat.

Anonymous said...

I was also on the fence for many years about having kids and then the universe decided for me. I had my 'surprise' baby boy (now one year old) at 35 and he is the Most amazing and wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I shudder at the thought of almost mIssing this experience of being his mommy.

Don't think about it too much and wait to feel 100% ready. I never would have met the love of my life! Everything truly does have a way of working out, as my OB/GYN assured me as I sobbed in her office when my pregnancy was confirmed ;-).

Anonymous said...

I guarantee neighbor couple have someone(s) they watch as admirably as you do them. If you were to know them, they may not feel they have it together yet either. The anticipation of a new child was one of the most scary moments for me, I do know that.

This is a beautiful post. You are in a wonderful point of life. You will one day admire yourself at this moment. Embrace it. Do we ever really have it together?

Cristin said...

Beautifully written.
Sometimes I do hope that one day I grow into the person that neighbors spy upon.
:)

~C
cristincolvin.blogspot.com

BH said...

My husband and I waited seven years of marriage before conceiving. We always felt that we never had enough time or money, etc. Then one day realised that what we're living now is actually real life. It was simple, but so startling. We realised we would never have as much time or money or a big enough house or a BMW wagon to drive our beautifully dressed children around in . . .
We decided to stop waiting for life to happen and make our life happen instead. We had a baby and nearly immediately afterwards followed our dream of moving to London!

Nataliya said...

I knew early on that I wanted to be a mother. And being one as been more rewarding and amazingly wonderful as I dreamed it would be.

But now I'm trying to answer the question of, who am I in addition to being a mom. i thought I knew that. I thought I had a career to back me up. And now I hate it. And want something different. But I don't know what that different is.

i guess what I'm trying to say is the feeling of having it together may have a time stamp. today it is all together and tomorrow it might not feel so.

madilla said...

Just found your blog. Will read on.
Everything starts with a thought.

Jesse said...

seeing my friends have babies really made me want to have a baby even more than i already did...picturing my husband putting together the crib, feeling those kicks and wondering about that special wee one. ah. i can't believe i have a five-month old now. best thing i ever did. hands down.

Original Kos said...

...and those are the moments that spawn sleepless nights and agonizing/exciting decision-making. If I weren't surrounded by so many beautiful children and happy parents, we probably would have waited much longer to have kids. I just felt so inspired.

Now we're expecting our second and I'm only 27. It's so amazing.

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