For most of my teenage and early-20s life, I envisioned myself as being a career woman. Kids was the furthest thing from my mind. A husband and family were certainly not on the cards for me. No, I would rather the large double-mahogany doors into the corner office with a view of the city. Not just any city. New York City.
I didn’t know what I would do, what line of business it would be, but I knew I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to wear black pencil skirts with pale pink shell tops and one-button blazers. I wanted to wear stockings and stilettos. I wanted to demand people’s attention, and a big fat pay check.
Then I hit about 23 or 24 years old, and suddenly I decided I wanted 5 kids. I wanted to make up for the Christmases spent going from one parent to the other, from one extended family to another. I wanted to have 5 kids who would all grow up and have babies of their own, and they’d all come home for Christmas, just like in the movies.
Now, here I am, well and truly “grown up” and not only do I not have a career, but I also don’t have 5 kids. I have one. One perfect one, at least, but still “just” one.
People around me seem to think about falling pregnant and it happens. I know people terrified they WILL fall pregnant, because it has happened so easily in the past.
It’s hard for me to imagine that NOT wanting something to happen could be as scary as wanting it TO happen, but fearing it never will. If you can follow that.
Yet we all find ourselves in these situations. Wanting something, not wanting something as the case may be, and I wonder how much control we have over any of it. At the most, I’d say very little.
Then I hear about a woman who delivered her baby, who was sleeping, today. The day that should be the most joyous in her life, is now the most tragic and heart wrenching. This date, for the rest of her life, will bring sorrow instead of joy, pain instead of happiness.
And I think, it doesn’t matter if you’re a career woman, or a mum of 1 or 20 kids, it doesn’t matter if you command a board room or a play room. Life is a gift. It is precious. It can be given and taken away at any moment. And we need to NOT take that for granted. And tonight I hugged my one baby a little tighter, laughed a little longer, told him I loved him and that he is my favourite in the whole world. I am so thankful for him, and for my life, whatever it may hold.
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