You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. – Kahlil Gibran
When I was a teenager, I decided that I didn’t want any children. Yep, that’s right, I didn’t want any. When I was a little girl, I wanted a soccer team of kids, but when I became a teenager, I decided against it. I didn’t relate to them, and certainly didn’t understand what the big fuss was. When my friends would go on and on about how they couldn’t wait to have kids, I thought that their bodies were taken over by aliens or they were suffering from lack of oxygen to the brain. Who wanted to willingly subject themselves to days on end of poop, vomit, sleepless nights, untidy houses, worry, screaming and yelling?
I wasn’t turned off per say by these little people. I would hold a baby ( for five minutes and then give it to someone else), I would babysit if asked to, I’d play with them. They’re cute, and sometimes I thought kids were funny. I just didn’t see myself as a mother, or caring for a little person. Not me, I liked my life the way it was, and the childless freedom that came along with it.
Years later I noticed a woman walking along holding her little girl’s hand and it touched something in my heart. Then I saw a pregnant woman rubbing her belly and wondered what that would feel like. And then, a child’s laughter brought a smile to my face. I couldn’t figure out what was happening?
A while after that I found myself standing in an uncomfortable room the middle of a the night, in a hospital gown, staring at this beautiful, tiny little creature. I was in complete awe, and at that moment, my life changed forever. I didn’t know how my life existed without her, and I couldn’t understand what made me think I never wanted kids.
Now I have trouble understanding how people get annoyed with children, or don’t want to be around them. I agree that at times they are a lot of work, you don’t get to do things on your own schedule and really, life would be a lot more simpler if you could do whatever you wanted, when you wanted to. But with that you would be missing a lot of wonderful things, such as the look on a child’s face as they see something spectacular in the ordinary, such as a subway. How they get excited when you tell them that they get to choose a toy ‘just because.’ And the melting in your heart that you feel when you know that someone trusts you blindly, and loves you unconditionally, knowing that you have faults and accepts you anyway.
I have learned that children don’t need a lot from you. They need your presence more than anything, especially your presents. Children are jewels which have been dropped from the sky, they are precious. I find that the pressures of being a parent are equal to any other significant pressure you face. Imagine being a conscious parent, really paying attention to the little person’s health – mentally, physically and emotionally. That is a huge responsibility, and one that most would shy away from, because it IS so hard to accept.
And so I am currently feeling my heart tearing. My little girl, amazing as she is, is experiencing a lot right now and I can see that she struggles at times. I talk with her, try to comfort her, ease her worries. I want to take away her pains, help her believe in herself. Kahlil Gibran says eloquently above, she is her own person, has her own thoughts and beliefs. I can only do so much, which is so frustrating. I want to do more! What I can do is love her, hold her and keep telling and showing her that. I can create a safe environment for her, this way she knows she has somewhere to go. She is ultimately her own person, and I pray that she will never lose sight of how much I love her. I am there for her always.