"My biggest regret is that I never had children."
- a white-haired elderly male character in an insipid movie which was otherwise forgettable.
In the past calendar year, half-a-dozen babies have been produced by people I work with. It's a bumper crop. Consequently, a parade of squooshy infants has been through the office in the past few months. Like every female of the species, my body is wired to drench my brain in happy-happy neurochemicals anytime I look at a baby. Just watching a little newborn fast asleep, doing nothing at all, is enough to fill me with big-time warm'n'fuzzies.
I've written before about my choice to remain childfree/childless (take your pick - either one will offend someone). At this stage of my life I'm completely convinced that it was the right decision. Having a child is an intensifier of everything in life, the good and the bad. My life has been plenty intense enough without adding parenthood to the stack of challenges.
I don't worry about leaving a legacy. I have opportunities every day to better the world by loving people and by taking responsibility. My relationships (with friends, family, and colleagues) have been mutually rewarding. By supporting those who are parents I indirectly contribute to the well-being of the next generation. I also sponsor two kids through World Vision.
What's going to happen to me when I'm old? That's in God's hands. It's funny how young people consider this question as though nothing will change between now and their "golden years". At the rate technology is progressing I expect that Robot Nannies will be available for sale well before I become decrepit, if I'm destined to live that long. If I need someone to tie my shoes or make tea for me and my rickety friends, Robonanny will be happy to help.
At least now that I'm almost 40 people have stopped making insensitive comments. I'd like to know why they feel that they're better qualified than me to make my reproductive choices. A hairdresser I've known for all of 20 minutes, a friend of my parents who's only just been introduced to me, relatives who want a squooshy infant to snuggle, all of them feel welcome to weigh in. I'm just glad that I trusted myself enough to withstand the pressure.
It's my decision, and I do not regret it. Sometimes I wonder what my babies would have looked like, and sometimes I feel nostalgia for sweet family memories that I'll never have, but my life is good, and I wouldn't go back and change it.