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merrygoround2When 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.