Longing for the Sleeping Child

As darkness descends over Highway 20 on my way home from Albany, it’s pretty, with soft gray and medium gray sky, gray-green trees and shrubs, people heading home in their cars. Annie is curled up sleeping in the back.

A warmth rushes through me. I have had this feeling before with a sleeping dog. I think how sweet it would have been to have a child like that. They would have been more energetic earlier, but how wonderful it would be to have them sleeping beside me now.

I could have watched them grow from babies to children to adolescents to teenagers to adults, watching the changes, watching them learn, teaching them everything I know about life. Finally they would be companions and helpers in my old age. They could carry on family traditions, keep the photo albums, take my name and my genes into the future.

All it takes is a sleeping dog to make me feel the pain of childlessness again. I missed something so huge, so vital. It’s like four part harmony was offered for the song of my life and I only played the alto and bass, with no melody.

It just kills me. I feel like I have to do something about it. I know there’s nothing I can do. It’s too late, but I can’t accept it. I wish this were a sleeping child in my back seat right now. My children would be adults, but my grandchildren could be riding with me through this gorgeous night. Instead, I reach back and pet Annie’s soft gold fur. Her tail flaps, and I see her eyes glowing at me in the dark. Thank God for dogs.

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2 thoughts on “Longing for the Sleeping Child

  1. I'd rather see a sleeping dog any day. Kids and babies are boring and whiny and messy. Dogs are almost always happy to see you and are never too cranky or fussy to show you how much they adore you. My dog's eyes light up 50 times a day — for mealtimes, treats, a hug, a pet, opening the door so they can go outside, opening the door so they can come back in, etc. And car rides! Woot! Talk about joy!

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  2. I can't understand what you feel because I'm half your age, and I've never wished for children, but I believe that if God gave you no children, maybe thats the way he wants you to live. You don't have children or grandchildren, but life always has lots to offer… go get it, and live your life with all the wonderful things yo DO have.

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