I recently read a friend’s recent postings on Facebook about the heartbreaking discovery of her infant baby’s cancer, the struggle for emotional and spiritual strength, the bewilderment and pain of dealing with diagnosis, then later the chemo treatments, while comforting the brave baby’s fight to heal.
I do not have any children of my own, nor am I likely to have any. I am in my forties already so the chance of getting pregnant is statistically rather slim. I am also unmarried and would not ever dream to bring a child into this world alone as a single parent. I can hardly take care of myself as it is and like my current lifestyle too much. Furthermore, I have no maternal instincts; in my teenage years, I already knew with certain clarity that I did not want to have any children. In all my adult years so far, I have not yet dated a man who has brought out that desire for progeny either. Needless to say, my refusal to have children ended at least two relationships; at least I was upfront about it, otherwise I would probably be divorced already or bitterly miserable with kids.
While I may occasionally pause to admire a cute child, and engage to play with many a friend’s smart inquisitive well behaved toddler, I generally prefer to avoid young children, who nowadays seem increasingly spoilt, loud or unruly. I struggle to tolerate screaming children who run around public places undisciplined, and would often sigh in exasperation hearing children screech at their parents, who mostly seem deaf and uncaring for their child’s desperate attention. Why are there so many parents out there who lack the ability to raise children who can behave in public? Do they not realize or care that their little monsters are a public nuisance? Oh, the noise pollution…which usually occurs to disturb my peace of mind and enjoyment while at a restaurant or book store. Ok, enough of me griping.
I have friends who desperately struggle to get pregnant and have friends who are relishing the adventures and experiences of parenthood. I listen to their stories, their happiness, exasperation and challenges of raising their children and witness these children grow up with mild interest. I do experience mixed feelings about not having a child of my own, often with gratitude, sometimes with wistful contemplation. The latter always dissipate from my thoughts very quickly.
As I look at the pictures of my friend’s baby girl, who despite the pain of chemo, countless needles and tests, can still smile so beautifully. Her angelic face and smile just melts my heart. I pray for God to be merciful and kind, to heal my friend’s sick baby so that she would grow up and get to know how wonderful her parents and family are. And to get to know me… so I would have the opportunity to share stories with her, like of how I first met her mother when she was a mere slip of a girl, clutching her Enid Blyton book.