International Childfree Day

There is such a thing. It’s today. August 1st.

It could also be known as I’ll Never Be a Grandmother Day.

Both my kids have decided not to spawn. It took some getting used to.

At first, all I could think of was I was a bad mother. I readily admit I had many, many less than stellar mom moments. They all flashed before my eyes whenever someone complimented my husband and me on one or both of our amazing children.

One of the first things Kid #1 did when they achieved independence was to procure a therapist. Not that I blame them. I completely understand. Even though I like to think not all of their issues were about me. Hopefully, their therapist isn’t a Freudian. I mean, we have a great relationship today. (Uh, call your mother.)

There are so many experiences they’ll never have being childfree:

Cold, lovingly prepared breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. (true story)

Being told “You’re the best mommy I ever had,” at the end of a long hard day. (true story)

Hearing them tell the woman at the vision center that “Mommy broke her glasses when she threw them when she got mad. (true story)

Bursting with pride when they perform in front of a group. (true story)

Hearing at 9 PM on a school night, “Mom, I need poster board for a school project that’s due tomorrow.” (true story)

When their hard work pays off with improved grades or buying their own car. (true story)

Spending an entire weekend in cold rain or blistering sun at a sports tournament. (true story)

Suffering with them when their team doesn’t win a game all season. (true story)

Denying yourself coffee and alcohol for the entire duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding. (true story)

Just seeing your child for the first time. (true story)

Seeing them smile for the first time, or their first steps. (true story)

Of course, there are the really bad moments, the highly emotional fights where I wished I would have handled my side better, maybe trouble with the law, bad breakups, no boy/girlfriend, car accidents, scars, words that can’t be taken back. Everyone can do without those. But we have them and we find a way to do.

I was surprised when I found myself going through a mourning, of sorts, when I realized I would never be a grandmother. All my friends who are grandparents swear it’s the best thing ever, even better than being a parent. I’ll never know.

I was also surprised when I started getting sick of seeing everybody’s grandkids on Facebook. Fine. Your grandkid is the sweetest, smartest, cutest kid in the universe. To you. Until the next one comes along. And you’re lucky they’ll never face competition from mine!

And who do I crochet things for when I watch TV? I live in the desert so I don’t need hats and scarves and afghans. How many coats do my grandpups need? I guess I can inundate my childfree offspring and their significant others with the ill-fitting sweaters and bedspreads and throws and more dog coats until my fingers gnarl from arthritis.

But at the same time, I’m not overly optimistic about the state of the world. If the human race has some kind of dystopian future ahead of us as writers predict (as they did many things that exist in the present) I wouldn’t want loved ones to suffer through it. I mean, look at who our president is.

I’m glad our kids are confident to make choices their parents may not like. We have accepted that. I’ve had to learn not to throw innuendos or opinions on the topic into our conversations.

So, all you purposely childfree people, enjoy yourselves. Remember who gave up second honeymoons while you’re on your second or third or fourth. Remember who ate the burned toast so you could have the pretty toast and cooked your food after a day at work while you were running around the neighborhood with your friends. Remember who taught you how to do laundry while you’re buying “Dry Clean Only” with the money you could be spending on my non-existent grandchildren.

(Maybe I’m a touch bitter. Maybe that’s a little consolation.)

(I was going to find some graphics to post, but  as someone who actually sacrificed a few things for her kids because she loved them, I started to get pissed off looking at them so I’ll just stop here.)

 

 

 

 

 

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