I don't know how I managed it, but I wound up sneaking off for a few short hours earlier... by myself.
I needed to go out and return a bunch of things my mom purchased for my kids for Christmas. Bless her heart... I know she meant well, but when she handed me the things she'd put away on layaway for them, and I opened the box, I knew that the toys and crafts were not exactly my kids' "style". She tried her best, and I love her for it, but really... there are other things that they'd much rather have "Santa" bring them on Christmas morning. So, she gave me permission to take them back and get them what they really wanted.
I have to say, I felt horrible pangs of guilt leaving the house by myself. It was so strange, not needing to buckle a small child into a carseat, not having to ask if everyone's buckled in, not hearing anyone asking me to change the radio station to Radio Disney or Jammin'. I got to drive with all the windows down, listening to MY music, and didn't have to break up a backseat quarrel ONCE. Heavenly.
The woman at the customer service desk thought it was a real hoot, when I explained to her my rationale for returning things. She agreed that it was best to get them what they really wanted, rather than fill up the spaces under the tree with "stuff". I walked out of the store a few hours later, feeling so good knowing that the kids will definitely have a good year this year, and they'll be totally psyched about what Santa brought. It tickles me more than I even care to admit, especially because they really are good kids, and they don't get much at all during the year in the way of "treats", so to be able to be a bit generous at Christmastime just warms the cockles of my heart.
Not to mention I wasn't being hounded for a toy, and had to face the deflated looks on their faces when I had to tell them no. That's always so hard on me.
We were watching "Baby Mama" last night, and there was a scene where Tina Fey's character is in an elevator, and standing in front of her was a young mom, holding a baby who couldn't be more than 9-12 months old. She gently caressed the baby's little hand with one finger, then cautiously leaned forward to smell the baby's head. I turned to my husband and said, "I know exactly how she feels. I've been having that 'itch'" again. Of course, he looked at me as if I'd completely lost my mind. He even invited me to find someone else to have the next child with, if I so desired (teasing, of course).
Logically speaking, I know it's the absolute wrong thing to do to my body. At 45 years of age, it wouldn't be the wisest thing for me to put my body through, or my heart, for that matter. My old eggs might not produce a healthy child, and I just don't want to set myself up for that.
I guess, as long as I'm able to bear children, the longing will exist. I only hope it goes away once I hit menopause.