To My Future Children

To my future children…You are nothing more than a glimmer now.  A blink, perhaps.  An idea that may or may not ever come to fruition.  But I can picture you.  I can see myself holding you, loving you.  I don’t know that you will ever actually come to be, but I can imagine life if you did.

I have many notions on the thought of me having you in the future.  First and foremost, there’s the obvious statement of my age.  I am almost thirty.  I am running out of time.  I want things now that I didn’t want before.  I want to finish a graduate degree.  I want to move, to travel.  I want to experience things I missed out on during that hunk of my twenties that is buried and gone.  But I want you too.  Can I have both?  Is it okay for me to want something else first?  Do I have time?  I don’t know if I can have a relationship, a family, and have these other things.  These are questions that can’t be answered.  

Having you means having a relationship.  Do I want a relationship?  This is a question that is too complicated to answer in its entirety.  Do I need a relationship?  Absolutely not.  I want kids, but I don’t necessarily want a relationship.  I want to be my own person.  But it takes two to tango, so to speak.  So to have you, I’d have to be okay in a relationship.  I’d have to find a relationship.  And these things, like everything else, take time.

 To be pregnant again would be, for lack of a better word, weird.  Instead of counting the days until you arrived, I would be counting the days until I could get you out of me safely.  This would make the entire experience completely different.  Every missed kick, every not felt movement, every mental twinge would be a catastrophe.  I wouldn’t want to plan for you.  I wouldn’t want to name you.  I would struggle to get baby things.  Instead of looking at the ultrasound to see if you were a boy or a girl, I would look to see if your heart was still beating.  I would struggle to put one foot in front of the other until the day that I could hold you, alive.  I would constantly wait for something to go wrong.  Because things do go wrong, and it happens without warning.  And the ever present question:  what if something did go wrong?  Again?  I would have trouble believing that you would ever actually come; I would have trouble believing that you would be okay.

There wouldn’t be another baby shower.  There wouldn’t be another “first baby.”  Do-overs are not something that really exist.  I will never have another shot at my first child.  You will always be second.

We would both miss out on so much.

Would I want you to fill the hole of what was lost, or would I want you for you?  Logically, I know that nothing can ever fill that hole.  You would be entirely separate.  Would I have trouble making that distinction?  I have no way to answer that question.  I’d like to think I would love you on your own.  I already love you, and you don’t exist.  But really, honestly, there’s no way to know. 

For a long time after Carter died, I wanted nothing else but to become a mother.  I still want that.  But I want other things too.  And, as always happens when I am brutally confronted with the fact that he is no longer here, I find myself having to reevaluate my choices.  I can not have everything; no one can.  My quality world, my ideal self, involves having you.  I’d like to think I would be a good mother to you.  I would give you everything.  You should know that.  But there’s the issue of time.  There is never enough of it.

I’d like to think I would have been a good mother to Carter.  But I didn’t get much chance there.  I didn’t get any choice at all.  But I would have given him everything.  You should know that too.

I want a family.  But perhaps I need to accept that that will never come to be.  Maybe there are some things we don’t get another shot at. 

So, to my future children.  I’m sorry that I can’t be more for you.  I’m sorry that I can’t guarantee you a chance.  I’m sorry that you might always exist as nothing more than an idea in the back of my heart. 

To my future children, and to Carter…I love you, always.

One thought on “To My Future Children

  1. Darcy says:

    Several of my friends have used artificial insemination. It’s a lot less expensive than in vitro, and you don’t need a partner. 🙂 Become independently wealthy with your writings, and then you can have your own kids. The partner can come later, if ever – it helps to have someone helping you, but it’s not necessary. Single parenting happens all the time. Also, I didn’t have my kids until I was 37 and 39. You are still quite a spring chicken. 🙂

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