Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The desire for children - children are a blessing

What a sad story I heard the other day. A friend of a friend got married 18 months ago; at the time, John and Emily discussed children. This was a major issue for John as he had split up with a long-term partner in the past because she wanted children and he did not. John was a bit older than Emily; she was in her late twenties when they married and he was just over 40. John and Emily agreed that they wouldn't start a family.

So John was shocked and devastated when Emily recently told him she wanted a baby and if he didn't want one she was going to leave him. Everything else in the marriage, he said, was going brilliantly. They were in love and having a wonderful time living together. Two weeks later, with John still unable to make the commitment to try for a family, Emily left.

I feel so sad for John to have lost his wife like this - a big part of him wanted to agree to try for a baby but he felt deeply that he would not be able to give a child the commitment he or she would need and deserve.

I also feel for Emily. I know from personal experience how the "biological clock" can kick in almost overnight with what feels like an overwhelming, visceral NEED to have a child. I went through 2 or 3 years of feeling like that - every time I saw a baby I felt a range of powerful emotions ranging from desperation to bitterness, as my husband and I were unable to conceive. I loved spending time with friends' children, but the heartbreak of not having one of my own was almost unbearable.

Thankfully, I found that the intensity of the bad feelings waned with time. Now, spending time with others' babies and children is a sheer joy for me. I hope that John and Emily can find happiness, whether they manage to get back together or not. And that Emily will be blessed with a child of her own soon, or if not that she will be able to experience the joy that can come from others' children.

Like for me today, when I talked with my partner Monicka's little boy on the phone, and he said, "Miss you!" and I felt so full of love and joy that I wanted to share these thoughts, and blessings, with you all!



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