Monday, March 22, 2010


I am starting off the first of the week with a sleep deficit. C and I stayed up way too late last night watching the voting in the House on health care reform.  Today I was somehow thinking that the bitterness and backbiting would be over. I am an optimist and a bit naive.  But like so many things that I have no control over,  I am choosing not to participate in debates, arguments, and vituperative discussions about any of this.

C enjoyed her birthday.  We had a nice dinner with her parents.  Her mother is doing okay but is still in some pain.  I don't like to see the decline in their health.  I know that it worries my wife, although she doesn't talk much about it.  She carries them to their doctor's appointments, although her father still drives.  It makes me sad that she will have to face the heartache of losing one or both of them.  I don't want her to feel that pain.  But there is nothing that I can do to ease it for her, other than just be there.

I know after reading your blogs that our decision not to have children was for the best.  I would find it difficult to cope with the pain of having an alcoholic or addicted child.  I can feel the anxiety in the pit of my stomach as I read about relapses, tensions, rehab, prison, panhandling and all the other stuff that goes along with addiction.

We both realized years ago that we weren't ready to be parents.  We wanted careers.  The years added up and then we realized that things were too messed up due to alcoholism to have children.  After that, it was too late.  I don't have any regrets about the decisions.  A child is not a panacea for problems. 

I don't have to make the tough decisions at the moment that many of you are facing.  I have been thinking about teak decks, cutter versus sloop rigs, and a host of things that have to do with pleasurable pursuits.  I don't feel guilty but mindful that there is minimal chaos in my life today.  Tomorrow all Hell may break loose, but today I am in a good place.  I wish that for each of you also.


  1. Syd, children are not all heart ache, as you know.

    I would not trade a minute of it, the good and the bad, the laughter and the tears.

    My best friend, who has been the most understanding of anyone these last 10 years, has no children of her own! As you demonstate, one need not be a parent to have empathy.

  2. Good places are wonderful...just enjoy...we all have good places and then yeah, hell can break loose and changes occur, it happens to the best of us.

    I understand about your wife and her family, I know that heartbreak and for years wished that no one I loved had to feel it, but sadly we all do, the hope is we are all stronger, and wiser for it.

    Nice post Syd.
    As always.

  3. I think parenting goes so far beyond DNA. I am drawn to teens who remind me of myself and I really try to extend a hand to them if I can. I will hire them to help me out and we just chat and giggle and laugh at how old I am. Showing them that they matter, that they are okay just the way they are doesn't have anything to do with who gave birth to them. I love my children but I hope to always be available to be a guide, mentor or just someone who cares about any youngster who is put in my path. That is why your work with the Alateens is so important. They need us...every one of us.

    ♥namaste♥ and happy sailing!

  4. I am glad you are in a good place, Syd. As your friend, I am happy to hear that.

    I, too, opted against children. I am just not a motherly type. I do not regret my decision either.

    I hope your wife's folks will be okay.

    Love, SB

  5. Glad that all's well at the moment. Enjoy the good times. You've earned them!

  6. When I was raising my children I didn't have a feeling of ownership, just of a responsibility and a joy to raise them up the best way I could. And along the way someone else (sometimes someone who never had children) would grace their lives with more wisdom and caring and I never begrudged it. The way I look at it, children belong to all of us; we all participate in their learning either by example or by direct contact. I like the way you describe your decision and respect it. You have my respect. Period.

  7. I don't have children but I am certainly appreciating and having fun with all my friends kids. That's plenty for me. I knew that I would make a terrible parent and sought out a partner that didn't want children either. We don't have any regrets.

  8. nice post Syd. I am glad that you are here.

  9. We decided not to have children. While my friends were rearing their kids I was working and traveling the world. It was a dream of mine which I got to realize in my life. Today I feel some sadness over this decision but I wouldn't change my life for the world.

    Your wife's parents get the rewards of your programs.
    What a wonderful gift they get to see working in your lives.

  10. Through the pain and challenges, I have grown so much as a person and as Lou said, they are such a blessing! I hope your week is filled with love and joy!

  11. I am glad we all get to be happy with the decisions we have made. That's a good thing :)

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here continually! I learn and grow walking this path with you!

  13. Some of the worst situations I've seen in life have come as a consequence of people who were not ready or willing to parent children do it for whatever the reason (or lack of reason).

    I fully support your and others' decisions to not have kids.

    For the rest of us, God's will and grace are manifest in different (not better) ways.

    Blessings and aloha...

  14. Sounds like you made the best decision for both of you. I know from my sisters that chose not to have children that sometimes there is a lot of judgement that is attached to this. We all have our lives to live and it seems to me you have lived yours well.

  15. As a child of addiction I definitely know what you are saying about the idea of having children.... I am still a little nervous about it just because of my own childhood.

    SN: I would like to talk to you about guest blogging on our recovery website. We are trying to showcase a series of bloggers in recovery for Alcohol Awareness Month. I will send you an email but until then please check us out at


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