Tuesday, March 27, 2012


As I played with Barbies in the floor of my purple childhood bedroom, I knew the names of my children. I knew, and my Barbies knew, and so together, we acted out complicated and dramatic scenes of family and futures that wouldn’t even come close to what my real future would turn out to be.

By the time I was eight-years-old, I had resolved that one day I would have babies. I named these babies Benjamin and Lucy and felt assured that nothing would change my desire for babies or their set-in-stone names.

As time passed, the desire did change. I became more interested in things like horses and travel and writing. I became less interested in my Barbies and any future babies that I might have. My future, once painted in reds and yellows and blues, transformed into vibrant greens and purples, becoming a rich kaleidoscope that no longer resembled anything I had previously imagined for myself.

College rolled around, and my kaleidoscope future at turns both settled and shifted, constantly changing to reflect my current moods and obsessions. When I met Jeremy, I was no longer an eight-year-old with dreams of future children named Benjamin and Lucy; I was a grown woman, and I didn’t know if I even wanted kids.

Jeremy was certain. Positive. He knew more than anything that he wanted a wife, and he wanted a family. Used to, when you asked what he wanted to do with his life, his answer was simple: he wanted to be a dad.

I was uncertain. Questioning. Mind reeling with possibilities and outcomes. When asked what I wanted to do with my life, my answer was complicated, multi-part, and almost never included children.

I worried that this would ultimately be a point of contention. I had seen other couples break up over similar decisions. If this, a most fundamental point of compatibility, was up for debate, then would we ever make it?

Despite my misgivings, Jeremy and I discussed possibilities. Kids, college, career paths. At one point, we even named our possible future children. Beautiful names that still give me goosebumps when I think of how perfect they are. I’ve always been a namer of things. Pets, random wildlife that wander into our sights, stuffed animals, cars. A thing has a name, and it has life, a purpose, a meaning.

Those dream children of ours have a life, a purpose, a meaning, even if they never come to be.

Together, Jeremy and I dreamed and planned, revealing a combined realization for the future that paled in comparison to past versions of the same future. As we built our own family of cats and each other, Jeremy’s desire for children waned. My own desires became less clear. To this day, they are still unclear.

Most of the time, I lean towards the “I don’t want children” camp. Admitting this is hard. I wonder if something is wrong with me, if something inside is broken. I’ve even had friends all but say that something is broken, that something must be missing from me if I don’t want to have kids, that I’m not whole.

And I wonder if that’s true, and honestly, it hurts to wonder that.

Everyone has different wishes and hopes. Everyone has a different kaleidoscope future. Would mine be less vibrant, less bright, less fulfilled if it didn’t include children? Or could I find my own sources for fulfillment and contentment through my husband, through my family, through my beautiful nephew, through my words?

Source: flickr.com via Ruth on Pinterest

Kids are a blessing, no doubt, but they are not the only blessing life has to hand out.

Ultimately, Jeremy and I have to decide what we want. We have to revisit the baby question and think long and hard on what our changing kaleidoscope future has in store. Lucky for us, if we do end up having kids, we already have some stellar names picked out…and if we don’t, well, we’re pretty dang good at naming cats, too. 

Author's Note:  I won't lie. This one was hard to share. Knowing I have supportive readers and friends gave me the courage to hit publish. 

And I'm sharing with the supportive community of yeah write as well. Please take the time to click the button below and discover some truly beautiful blogs. And if you have the opportunity, return on Thursday to vote for five of your favorite posts. 

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