Don't turn your back on me...
In the past I have sometimes blogged about children and my feelings toward having them. Sometimes, although not lately, the desire to grow and nurture a baby of my own are so strong that I get very melancholy over the fact that I am likely to never have a child of my own. Thankfully I haven't experienced these feelings in the extreme for over a year now. Babies are fantastic, with their sweet little smiles, and gorgeous baby smell, toddlers and young children special too. Hell, even teenagers can be pretty decent. And when they are grown? If everything goes according to plan, and you do your best to instill good morals, and teach your child right from wrong you just might end up having a friend for the remainder of your life. So many of my friends, myself included, are lucky enough to have had good parents who did the best they could by us, and as a result we try to be good adult children in return. But it doesn't always go according to plan. There are so many things that can go wrong, so many nights spent awake until dawn wondering where they are, or if they will ever recover from a serious illness, or God forbid, is someone out there waiting to hurt them. What if they never come back? And no one can tell me that the chances of these things happening are rare, and unlikely to happen, because they do happen, have happened, even to people I know and love. How does a parent survive and recover from these horrifying occurrences? Love would be the answer I suppose. But anyway, I'm digressing.
I've often wondered how children in the same family can be raised by the same parents, with the same values and turn out to be so different. I'm not referring to differences such as talents, hobbies or even sexual preferences. Today I am thinking along the lines of selfishness. People chose to have children for a multitude of reasons, and I often respect and appreciate every one of them. But for those few people who think that having children will ensure they always have someone in their life who will look up to them, love them and perhaps be company when the loneliness of old age comes creeping in, I suggest they think again. (I myself sometimes wonder who I will have to pass mementos on to, or who will mourn me after I'm gone but with three stepchildren and a large extended family I'm sure it won't be an issue - besides once I'm gone, will I actually really be that bothered? :)
I'm just mortified by the fact that those of us who are blessed with good, I mean really good, parents can turn around and be so self-centered that we can't pick up the phone to just say hi, or take a moment to spend an hour a week in the nursing home visiting a parent who proudly boasts of our accomplishments and flashes our own children's photo to anyone who shows the slightest interest. Or even worse, those children who can turn their back on their own parent because of something so trivial as money.
Someone whom I know and love dearly told me a story not so long ago of a son who chose not to speak to her for over a year due to the fact that she dared only send him a card for a milestone Wedding Anniversary with a small amount of money enclosed so he and his wife could have a drink on her while they were on their anniversary cruise. Nevermind the fact that she had a bottle of wine, cake and a gorgeous gift awaiting them upon their return, when she could celebrate with them in person. Her son didn't take the the time to find this out though as he sarcastically commented upon the little 'gift' enclosed in the card and hung up on her. He didn't speak to her again until she hurt herself badly a year later.
She never did tell him of her plan, or gave him the gifts that she has hidden safely away since long ago anniversary. But when she is gone, he will surely come across these gifts, with card enclosed, that was intended for he and his wife. I wonder what thoughts will cross his mind then. Even though he eventually found his way back to his mother, it will be obvious that he broke her heart at that time. In a sick way I hope he feels the pain that he caused his mother over a silly bit of money. I'm sure he will, I'm sure he will feel it a hundred fold, and realize how horribly he behaved, but for him it will be too late.
And I don't blame her for handling it in this manner. Not one bit.
I'm often told by my older friends that although children are a blessing, they are also the bearers of heartache and grief, be it intended or not. I am aware of this, but it would not be a basis for my deciding to bear children or not (provided Andy and I even could that is, chances are slight of it ever happening even if we decide to try). There are many things in life that can bring us trouble and pain. Life is a gamble and we never know what is around the corner. But I know what my mom sacrificed to bring her children up the best way she knew how. She tried so hard and for that I will always love her and give her the respect that she so deserves. Never, ever could I imagine turning a cold shoulder on the woman who gave me life, and a very good one at that.