On the other hand, I have had close contact with quite a few people who have not been able to have children on their own, much as they desire them.
I was once one of those people who was never going to have children (not just in the sense that everyone goes through that at a certain age). Why? I wondered. There’s not a good reason to have them, so it’s not even a debate.
Then I met my husband, who pretty much changed my worldview on some key things, and the topic of children, thankfully, was one of them. He made me want to be a mother. He made me think that, if he was my partner, I could be the mother I would need to be.
There are two events that I can rate as the best in my life: one was getting married, and the other, having children. I look at my daughter, and I see endless possibilities. I look at my daughter and I see hope. (OK, let’s face it: there are more than two things. Becoming Catholic is high on the list, and probably above both of these. I’m looking back over this and wanting to change it, but unable to come up with the wording that makes me happy…)
My daughter, I firmly believe, is a better person than I am. This is where my hope comes from. She has in her capability talents and abilities and thoughts that I will never have. In this, there is hope. She is not hampered by the opinions I have formed over the years, those seemingly inobstructable hurdles to advancement. She does not know what is not possible, and she is not limited by the things I do not understand or like. In this, there is hope.
I look at children in a new way now that I have one. I no longer notice their hair ornamented with small vegetables, their fingers caked with biter biscuit, their shoes on the wrong feet. Instead I notice the light in their eyes, the interest in their demeanor, the learning curve they are climbing tenaciously. I see that they are the future, which is a popular thing to say – but do we consider what it means? These milk-mustached little people are going to take care of me someday, and I have great hopes for them. I hope that they build a world that makes us all proud, that regards the dignity that seems to have been lost lately. As I watch my daughter in her world, I know it’s possible. In fact, it’s even probable.