When I was young, I thought I was going to have children. I thought I was going to have my first child at 25 after getting married at 22. I was so sure that this was the way that my life was going to turn out.
For years I wanted to have children. And then something changed. Maybe it was turning 40 before meeting an appropriate significant other. Maybe it was enjoying my child-free life the way it was. Maybe it was meeting someone who I could see spending time with as a couple… not a family.
As I see my friends’ children growing more and more as each year passes, I think to myself “there is no way that I could be a mom of a child of this age.”
And then it hit me: if I would have had my child when I planned on having one, I would have an 18-year-old now as I am now 43.
I would see her or him graduating high school and making decisions on where they would go for college. I would see them getting ready for their senior prom. I may be facing the beginning of empty-nest syndrome. I’d be warning him or her about the dangers of drinking too much, setting your drink down at a bar or party, making sure to call when they got to where they were going and reminding them to be safe when it came to sex and driving.
I would think about how quickly those childhood years went and hoped it would have gone more slowly. And a small part of me would be relieved that they were finally an adult and I could begin the next chapter of my life.
Instead, I don’t have any of this. Do I wish I would have had these experiences? Maybe? Probably? Do I feel sad that it never happened? Not too often at all.
Will I regret the way my life turned out? Probably not regarding children. Occasionally, twinges of wonder rattle my soul. And occasionally the musing that I may have missed something sacred. But I’ve found mothering moments. I’ve given birth to dreams.
And I look forward to watching my dreams grow from their infantile stage into mature realities.