This morning at 12:06am Eastern Time, while many of us slept, a dear friend living many thousands of miles away gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Meanwhile, I am making preparations to attend a baby shower this morning and then another one tomorrow. All around me young women, many of them my friends, are having children, creating families, following the natural course of their lives and molding the next generation.

While this is the path taken by most women, it is not to be for this one.

The Family is still an important cultural icon in Mexico. I am often regarded curiously or with pity by my Mexican neighbors when they discover I have no children of my own. I jokingly tell them I have six dogs and that is enough. I imagine they think “the joke is on you Señora.”

I often wonder if I will regret this turn of fate. I use the word fate because the decision has been made for me really. Circumstances have determined my current status as a woman in her 40s without children.

There is a sense however that it was never meant to be. I’ve never had that natural maternal instinct so many women have. I’ve never been drawn to babies or had the need to hold them and coo at them like my friends do. Quite the opposite actually. Typically I’m repelled by newborns, uncomfortable around them, let alone in the act of holding one. It is not until they are well into the toddler stage that they begin to catch my interest. I suppose I need for the interaction to go both ways. Perhaps it’s the lessened chance of ending up covered in bodily fluids that influences me.

For most of my life I thought my repulsion towards babies to be very unnatural and wondered if there wasn’t something wrong with me. But the feeling was clearly mutual. Babies have always gone into meltdown when they come into contact with me. Gradually, with each passing year and the realization that it isn’t in the cards, a feeling of acceptance has descended upon me.

A friend said once “It is not your path to be a parent. You are destined for something different, to share your gifts with the world in another way.” A truly beautiful thing to say – beautiful and hopeful.

And so, as I continue on the path through my 40s and ponder the world around me, I realize that my role in life is to be a good friend, a caring partner and lover, daughter, sister, a compassionate employer and thoughtful neighbor. Because it is the relationships we nurture in this life that matter. These are the things that will be remembered when we are gone.

A few more wrinkles with each passing year, reflecting wisdom in turn gained. Time marches on.


1 thought on “Fate

  1. Kids or no kids, you will make an important and lasting impact on your corner of the world, my friend. You have so much to offer, and I can't wait to learn everything that you have to teach.And if it makes you feel any better, I, too, never had a maternal bone in my body. And frighteningly enough, now 4 young lives depend upon me. Scary, indeed.

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