Thursday, January 31, 2013


I was thinking about this blog recently and realized that I should be honest about the outcome, given that the purpose of it was not just to explore our world through issues surrounding children but my own thoughts about having kids.
This last September, Rob and I welcomed a little girl into our lives.  The decision to have a kid was never concrete and even upon finding out I was pregnant I was unsure.  The pregnancy journey was not fun and those women who think it is mystify me.  What made it especially challenging was that I developed an overgrown fibroid which started to die and the pain I endured from that was even worse than labor.
Currently, we’re 4 ½ months in and, obviously, much has changed since she was born. Having a child isn’t for everybody and you won’t find me advocating for it or against it because we’re all on our own path.  Life gets turned on to its heels after a child is born.  You go through such a shock to your system that there’s nothing I can compare it to.  I don’t remember the first 6 weeks, arguably 12, but I, obviously, survived and got through it somehow because I’m still here.
This might be weird to say but I would’ve been ok with not having kids.  I had a full life before and felt that I had purpose.  I wasn’t seeking to fill any void and can find it annoying when people say, “I don’t remember life before kids.”  That may be true for them but I certainly do and, honestly, I sometimes miss it.
But having said that, knowing what I now know, I can’t imagine my life without our daughter.  If I were to lose her, I would suffer.  She makes me understand the world a little differently, if not more deeply.  This doesn’t make me a better person than someone who’s childless, by any means.  I liken it to teaching: I was always sympathetic to the plight of teachers but didn’t really understand their world until I became one.  I could understand a parent before having a child myself but only up to a certain point.  As a parent, I understand patience more deeply (although being a teacher helped).  I understand fearlessness and sacrifice where I’d do anything for her without question.  I also understand love on a level I didn’t think someone like me was capable. These don't make me a better person now (since I think I was pretty good before), but I’m already a stronger person because of them.
There are a lot of fears now – oh the fears! – and worries and concerns.  I’ve already had countless moments where I’ve questioned the reasoning behind the choice to be responsible for another human being.  I look at all the hatred people have for each other, all the judgments and lack of responsibility, and my heart aches that we brought an innocent soul into this mess.  A mess that I will have to try and explain one day when I don’t even understand it all myself.
But then I look at her.  I look at her face, her eyes, her smile.  I hear her giggles and now emerging laugh, and somewhere deep within me there’s a flicker of light, of hope, of faith, if you will, that shines telling me that in the end it’ll all be OK.  That the foundation we’re building for her will help grow her good heart and soul that you can already see.  She may witness darkness enveloping our world but my hope is that she’ll see its light is greater.  The lack of sleep, the worry, and all of the concerns that come with this territory of being a parent is a microcosm of the larger picture on Earth.  These things may seem dark in the moment they’re happening but her smiles, giggles and laughter are the light that shine greater than any dark cloud could ever try to cover.  There’s so much focus on the negative aspects of having a kid and of all that you lose.  I know because I sang that tune forever. But what about all that you gain?  I can’t say what this is exactly because it’s different for each of us.
Life is nothing but stages that we go through and the challenges of each stage are what make us stronger individuals.  I may have been unsure before but there’s no doubt in my mind that I will be eternally grateful for choosing to go down this road.  Challenges and all.

Friday, March 4, 2011



Hard to believe but this is my last post. The experiment has come to an end. I am grateful that I did this because I definitely grew more comfortable with the idea of having kids. I learned a lot about myself and I sharpened certain thoughts and opinions and even find myself changing on others. I learned to accept that everyone’s on their own journey and that we make the best choices we know how at any given moment. Hindsight is always 20/20 and no one’s perfect, most of all me.

Thank you to anyone who read any entries; I appreciate your readership and whatever journey you happen to be on with whichever topic, remember, it’s your journey and you’re in control of what you make of it.

I now leave with an excerpt from a book by Richard Back titled Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah that I have, since high school, considered to be a kind of Bible of mine.

The Master answered and said, “Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’ The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom.’ But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time, the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘…a miracle!...the Messiah, come to save us all!’ And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure…In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which we have chosen this lifetime. So it is that I have learned this day, and choose to leave you now to walk your own path, as you please.” And he went his way through the crowds and left them, and he returned to the everyday world of men and machines.

Thank you and goodnight.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Babies Make Adults Go Bananas


I went with my sister to buy a baby shower gift and I thought I’d run out of the store screaming. First off, the service wasn’t very good and second, the store was split into two locations, each across the hall from each other. So you had to walk from one side to the other to find what you wanted and if someone was helping you on one side but you needed something from the other, they’d send you out and you’d have to wait for someone else to help you. I couldn’t understand why the first person couldn’t just walk over the 3 steps to the other side of the hall and help. But I’m being rational.

I don’t understand why we go so bananas for baby stuff. It’s damn expensive for one. You buy an outfit for $30, the kid’s gonna wear it once because he or she will completely destroy it or he/she will have grown out of it by the time you want to put on that outfit again. I keep telling Rob that I wish it were acceptable to not put shoes on kids and make them wear a burlap sack until they’ve stopped growing. Or at least until they’re in high school and are old enough to get a job and pay for shoes and clothes themselves.

There’s just so much stuff that comes with having a kid. And I’m sure parents don’t mind because of the mushy, gushy, “unconditional love takes over” mentality but…I don’t know. Half of the stuff we have for babies and kids wasn’t around 100 years ago and people still got by. I mean, a $200 video baby monitor? That creeps me out. Newborn toys that make noise? Don’t get me started. Swaddles that lock a baby in preventing him/her from moving? I know babies want to feel like they’re back in the womb but when I held in my hand that packaged swaddle that locks in a baby, my claustrophobia kicked in. They’re able to move more in the womb!

I suppose I don’t “get” any of this because I don’t have a baby. But honestly, I look at what’s out there and, you have to admit, most people expecting a baby register for pretty much the same items and after this Saturday I will have been to 2 baby showers in a month with another one in 3 weeks, and I’ve seen the same items on the lists. So I’m picking up on what mothers are getting but just like I questioned ¾ of the stuff I was told by “experts” I must register for on my wedding registry (and didn't), I’m beginning to question the whole baby registry must-haves too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Raising Children Parentless


A friend sent this article to me and it’s about a topic I would’ve never thought about and it gave me pause. As far as I know, my father is alive somewhere but he’s pretty much dead to me because I met him a total of 4 times my entire life. This reality dictated the course of my relationships throughout my life, especially romantic ones, but I never considered that the loss of having a parent could dictate a parenting style. (I am consciously considering growing up without a father similar, if not the same, as losing a parent because I’m taking into account that both shape how you view the world.)

For anyone who has lost a parent or both, I encourage you to read the entire article but I offer highlights:

  • Grandparents provide an opportunity for babysitting laying a foundation for grandparents and grandchildren to get-to-know each other. It also allows for family traditions to be passed down and information about family and ancestors to be shared.
  • Grandparents offer another place for children to turn to should they need. They can pass down their love of art and music and/or teach skills that maybe the parents don’t have.
  • Death is considered to be one of the top three reasons couples separate. Where children are involved, jealousies could arise that one parents’ parents can be a part of the kids’ lives and the other can’t. This can strain a marriage and feelings of loss often dictates the parenting style. Someone who’s lost a mother or father (or both) may be prone to approach parenting from a “worst case scenario” mentality.
  • Those who have lost a parent at a young age live with the fear that they themselves will die young. (This I know to be true because both my best friend and her brother who lost both parents within 6 years of each other are convinced they’re going to follow their parents and die young.) The fear of dying young also easily feeds into how someone may approach parenting. If the loss of a parent contributes to the mentality of “the worst case scenario” and all decisions come from that part of the heart, then the fear of dying young would underscore everything.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baby's Infectious Laugh


I came across this baby video on Yahoo! and the baby’s laughter really is infectious. And as a side note, I always marvel at how much babies look like senior citizens only they’re tiny. But, alas, my friends, that is what lies ahead of us: we may drool and have no hair, but, hopefully, we have lots of love and laughter.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Growing Up Fatherless


For anyone who grew up without a father, you and I understand the emotions behind these words…

Amber: “…and the other thing is, I actually can’t go to Alcatraz because I get sick on boats which, you know, is something that everybody that knows me knows. But, you know, I just forget that, it’s basically like we’re strangers, so - “

Seth: “Sweetheart, I’m just trying to --”

Amber: “Stop calling me that, I don’t even know you, you don’t know anything about me. You can’t just waltz in here after all this time and act like everything is fine and just, like, buy us a burger and, like, give me a crappy guitar and everything’s just gonna be to fine again. And you know, I guess it works, I guess it works on everybody but me. I guess I’m the only person that, you know, has a problem with it but, I’m sorry, but I can’t forget the fact that you didn’t come to my birthdays when you promised that you would, and you didn’t take me out all the times that you promised that you would, and you were not there for me when I really needed you. And so I have trouble believing that you’ve changed because I’ve heard it all before and, I’m sorry, but I look at you and I just see the same loser who let me down.”[1]

[1] From Parenthood, Episode 17, Season 2.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Studying and Observing


We were at an Oscar party held by some friends whose 9-month old baby boy presented me with a very sweet memory. When we got to their house, he took one look at Rob, who has a goatee and wears glasses, and just stared at him with his jaw open. You could see he was studying Rob’s face and was trying to figure out why he looked so different from daddy. To watch this was so cool. After a moment, he outstretched his hand, patted Rob’s face a couple of times before realizing that a goatee and glasses scare him.

I’ve always been an observer, studying any number of subjects, and I found it fascinating to study this little boy as he tried to figure out if Rob was acceptable or not. Eventually I told Rob that I found out a while ago from his mom that outside of his dad, he’s still very unsure about accepting the company of other men. Women, on the other hand, he adores. Rob’s response to this was, “That’s my kind of man.” Sigh…