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.

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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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