I pause at a rest stop on the way to Albany and see a young couple playing with an adorable curly-haired baby. I think, oh, I should have had that, but other visions make me glad I missed that stage of life.
I see a pregnant woman walking with difficulty to the restroom, a squalling baby in her arms. I see another pregnant woman in town, pushing her one-year-old in a stroller. She walks heavily, her face bearing the weight of the world. Is she wondering how she got herself into this?
At Fred Meyer, I get in line behind this attractive white-haired woman who has a child somewhere between 18 months and two years old her stroller. The kid is grabbing everything as she tries to put it on the conveyer belt. Grandma is flummoxed. She leaves stuff in the cart and forgets to pay for it, seems totally confused. She sends a bagger off to get her a Coke. He brings regular and caffeine-free, not sure what she wants. She says, “Oh I need the caffeine; I’m taking care of three grandchildren.”
I plunk my light bulbs, tea and moisturizer on the conveyer belt, glad I don’t have to deal with any of this. Sometimes I feel bad about not having children, but other times, I think, “Oh, thank you, Lord.”
Think about it. As much as we might mourn our loss of children, there are some good things about not having children. Let’s make a list.
1)I’m not wrestling a child at the grocery store.
2I can go to the bathroom in peace.
3)I’m not exhausted from being pregnant and taking care of a one-year-old at the same time.
What else should be on the list?