I remember my sister talking about the urge to have a child about 6 years ago, just before she started trying to get pregnant. She spoke of an all-consuming, unwavering, irrestible longing to be a mother and, I must admit, at the time, I thought she was crazy. The way she went on and on about wanting to nurture and love and raise this thing that didn't even exist yet - I simply did not get it. She was 24, I was 18.
I am now about a month away from turning 24, myself, and now I finally get it; I feel it. The urge - to love and cherish, to nurture and protect, to care for and adore - is borderline unbearable. It grabs me on my way to work, it tugs at my heart as I shop for my groceries and it almost brings tears to my eyes when I walk through my front door at night.
I want a dog.
His name is Bacon, and while he probably doesn't even exist yet, there is a longing in my heart that only he can fill. He is a French Bulldog, he is brindle-coated and he has those irresitable pointy ears. He'll have my attitude but *boy's laid-back temperment; he'll love my soft, shady apartment for napping but *boy's sunny bay windows for people watching. He'll walk with me and lick me and love me and I (and *boy) will be his world.
While Bacon currently holds the key to my happiness, he is more a metaphor for the life I cannot wait to live. I feel like when my sister was busy waxing glassy-eyed about her desire to procreate, she was really daydreaming about the greater life changes that the pregnancy would embody (literally). She must have been thinking about the day he would take his first step, the day he would learn to swim and the day he would proudly tell his Auntie that he was going to be a big brother. I'm not focusing so much on the cold walks in the snow at 7am or the inevitable accidents on my nice furniture - I'm thinking about years from now when Bacon and I embark together to a new city or a new apartment or a fantastic vacation.
Even though a child and a Bacon aren't techincally the same thing, they both herald the desire for change, the desire for something new that will take me into the next decade of my life, to places and circumstances that I can't even imagine. Actually getting a Bacon would mean one serious life change, in particular: I need a job that either happily accepts dogs in the workplace or I need to work from home. And this is where the fantasy ends, where the reality of my current life takes hold and I remind myself that I can't have Bacon, yet. I know the life I want for him and I can't give that to him, yet. But one day...