The green-eyed monster.
What a pointless, toxic emotion.
I don't usually let myself fall into the jealousy pit. For one, I have been blessed beyond measure and have no business belittling those blessings by wishing for something "better". (Really, what is it about alliteration that grips me so?) Secondly, I have been around this world long enough to know that everyone has a story. For all I know, the one thing I see that I want could have come at a very high price for that person.
As much as I know this, and as much as I fight it, I have been feeling mighty jealous these days.
Everywhere I turn, people are having babies. Pregnant women and newborns are practically (not literally) flinging themselves at me. I'm praying. I'm making dinners. I'm buying groceries. I'm buying cute little outfits. All with a smile, because I really am happy for every single couple welcoming a new member to their family. But as I hold that infant, I'm aching.
And then I feel guilty. For Pete's sake (I don't even know who Pete is, but I enjoy the phrase.), I've given birth six times! I know so many people who have been unable to give birth even once. What kind of person am I to want more?
Jealous. And ungrateful. And greedy. Not pretty.
Then I start thinking, "Really, of what am I jealous?"
Do I want to go back to sleepless nights?
Do I want to go back to nursing?
Do I want to listen to the crying and the tantrums?
We all know I don't want to have to go through potty training again.
So what do I want?
To be pregnant. I love the feel of a baby growing in my belly. I hardly notice the discomfort or the nausea.
Those days at the end of pregnancy. The "is today the day?" feeling. The knowledge that at any moment that little person I see rolling around inside will be doing those newborn jerky "what was that?" jumps on the outside.
Cuddles. Nothing like a tiny little person curled up on my chest or in the crook of my neck.
I also thoroughly enjoy watching a little one grow. The first smiles and the multitude of other expressions. The eyes lighting up when he sees someone he recognizes. The way my older kids treasure the littlest one. The rocks when he's learning how to crawl. The unsteadiness of those first steps. The open-mouth kisses before he learns how to pucker.
While I love all of those things, I gotta get down to the nitty-gritty. What is really going on? Why am I really jealous?
I want two days in a bed where people feed me whatever and whenever I want, take care of my kids for me if I want them to, watch whatever I want on TV, and have as much peace and quiet as I can handle. And all of it with my husband sleeping on a futon next to me.
I'm not kidding.
It's the best.
And I want to do it again.
What, if anything, brings out the green-eyes of envy in you?