I just read a post by Lou that makes me sad. No matter how hard I try, it is hard for me to not have some spark of an expectation for others. And with that spark, I set myself up for a big fall. I don't know that words of comfort can make the anxiety go away, the second guessing of what went wrong, the heartache of disappointment. But I am sure that Lou would appreciate some positive thoughts if you are so inclined.
I see so many joys that people have with their children. And then I see the heartache that can come. Maybe my wife and I had some prescient notion that for us to have children would have been disastrous. I remember the words of a friend telling me that it wasn't the birth that one had to worry about, it was the life.
And the life is a flow that can't be controlled. It moves and twists, travels rapidly or barely makes progress. A million circumstances can intervene so that in a second all is altered. Frankly, I did not have the courage to have children. I knew that I would not have been a good parent--too little patience, too much hovering, too much anxiety. And the idea of loss would have been too much to handle, hanging like the sword of Damocles over my head all the time.
I am in awe of those who have the courage to bring children into the world, love them, provide for them, and treat them with respect. It has to be one of the most difficult "jobs" to be a parent. Wanting to protect your child from all the hurts of the world, yet knowing that through the hurts, the child will grow stronger--or not, has got to be hard. We both had enough pain in our own childhood to not want to repeat the history.
The growth from child to adult is a miracle no matter what happens. And I do believe that there are miracles happening for each of us. Don't give up before one comes into your life.
Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. ~Shel Silverstein