I’ve been on the road this week, which is why my posting schedule has turned erratic, but I’m on my way home now.
I’d like to write about a run-in I had with a grown stepchild that makes me wonder if I would have been the worst mother ever, but the kids read the blog and are easily offended, so I’ll change the subject–for now.
I’ve never seen so many babies and pregnant women in my life. I sold books at a Portuguese festival in San Jose last weekend and was flabbergasted by the population explosion happening there. Where I live on the Oregon coast, the population is older, so I don’t see so many babies; I just hear a lot of grandma talk. But out in the world, babies are happening.
It wasn’t just at the festival. I stayed with my dad, and whenever we went out to a restaurant, there were bound to be babies or toddlers at the next table. At church, he introduced me to his “girlfriend,” a four-year-old who came running in and gave him a big hug. She sits next to him every Sunday. If only that was my little girl. The child has a one-year-old brother, and the mom is expecting again.
Then there’s me and my dad, both single and living alone. At a party with my brother’s friends, someone actually asked me if that was my husband. Is it that he looks young for his age, or that I look old?
Eventually someone asked me about my children. I had to tell him I didn’t have any. Not one person at that party said, “Oh, I don’t have any either.”
We visited my sister-in-law’s mom, who recently sold her home of 50 years to move closer to her kids. Her house is filled with pictures of her children and grandchildren, and they were the only things we had in common to talk about.
You can’t get away from it. It takes a strong person to feel comfortable being childless in this world where everyone else seems to have a life filled with children. I’m working on it. I think the only thing we can do is enjoy all the children of the world and accept the freedom that comes with not having our own.
How’s that going for you?