But I Don’t Have Any Children

I was feeling down the other day when I read on Facebook about this Blog called Daily Signs of Hope, so I went there. Right away, the blogger started talking about the greatest joys of his life: his children and grandchildren. Not helpful. I sat there talking back to the computer, saying, but I don’t have any children or grandchildren. I just have Annie, my dog.

Sigh. I went back to Daily Signs of Hope this morning and discovered that once you get past the bit about the author’s beloved children and grandchildren, he offers some wonderful advice for everyone about how we influence the generations that follow us. His other recent posts do not even mention the kids. Sometimes we childless folks are blinded by our own emotions and freak out unnecessarily.

However, many people who have children, who have a so-called normal life, don’t even begin to understand what it’s like for those of us who have no children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Their lives revolve around their kids. How many times have we heard people say things like, “I never understood what life was all about until I had children” or, “I never really grew up until my son/daughter was born” or, “Having children changes everything”?

I believe them. I know there are lots of voluntarily childless people out there who feel they don’t need to have kids to fully experience everything they want out of life. I disagree. We ARE missing something. As we age, and the older people in our lives die, it sure would be nice to turn around and see someone younger coming up behind us. But if I open my eyes to it, there are young wonderful people in my life, even if I didn’t give birth to them. I think my two favorite words are “Aunt Sue.”

Both parents and non-parents need to work harder at understanding each other. The numbers of people without children, for whatever reason, are growing. Perhaps future generations will be more understanding about how some people have children and some don’t.