snapshots of an idle mind

June 30, 2006

25 … 35

Filed under: Uncategorized — sassinak @ 11:53 am

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[fyi my birthday is not today or tomorrow, in fact it’s a ways from now… but it’s close enough it’s got me doing the birthday thinking thing]
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i remember when i was turning twenty five.

twenty five was the year that i gave up the knight in shining armour and you know? i thought that might be the hardest thing that i ever had to do. i mean face myself in the mirror and admit that the only person that i could ever count on to take care of me was me?

that if i wanted someone to rescue me from my life that i’d better damm good and do it?

so i did. i also ran off and married someone a year later so i guess i hadn’t really given it up. but nonetheless, the summer that i turned twenty five was pretty hard. in fact, until thirty five i would have to say that twenty five was the hardest one ever.

no one was going to save me from my life.

i wasn’t going to be the girl in the movie who is walking down the street and gets whisked off by the king of siam.

no one would go to my grave for me…

in fact? i had to take care of myself. that was it.

[this in no way negated the idea of finding a man, but it wasn’t going to be a knight and a charging horse, it was going to be a human with flaws and problems and stuff.. you know {shut up, it’s a metaphor}]

so that was pretty hard that birthday. harder than thirty for sure.

thirty was a breeze, i don’t think i’ve ever had a happier year than thirty. there is something about that number that confirms in your mind that you are an adult and that you are living your life for YOU and nobody else.

your parents and your friends opinions don’t matter except as you allow them to and your decisions are what guides you now. sure you ask for advice but you’re free to discard it.

so yeah, thirty rocks.

[of course if you have kids they come first, duh. but i am not one of the lucky ones]

and then comes now.

a couple of years ago i made a deal with myself because the whole ‘to have or not to have kids’ dilemma was running pretty hard through my heart but i just wasn’t in any position to do anything about it. my body was broken and my relationship (i almost said marriage… funny that) was falling apart.

i still think that that was the universe having a cosmic joke at my expense. here you go sass, here’s the guy, you know that guy that you don’t think is possible? the one whose brain lights you up? that makes you feel like a kid at christmas all the time? look here he is.

and now let’s see… we’re going to break you and you’re going to break him and then together you’ll destroy your relationship and shatter your trust and faith in each other.

hee hee. sucker.

anyway i was still thinking and thinking on the whole kids thing and i knew it was impossible then. so i decided that at thirty four i would investigate my fertility and that at thirty five i would decide once and for all if i was having children or not.

AND if i decided yes?

i would start immediately to make that happen.

and in this way i could just drop the whole subject for a couple of years you know? just not worry about it? i was so stressed about whether or not and what to do and it was better to just let it go.

interestingly the answer floated to the surface fairly quickly once i stopped worrying at it.

and i just didn’t foresee what’s coming to pass. it just never occured to me that i would *want* to have kids but that i wouldn’t be able to get the logistics to work out. somehow in my imagination there was a guy or a larger income or savings or whatever.

so now i’m sitting here with the adult version of the knight in shining armor and i’m sort of flummoxed.

it never occured to me for a second that i would be the one who didn’t get to be a parent. i never once thought that if *I* wanted to do it that i wouldn’t be able to. it was always just whether or not i wanted to and never whether or not i *could*.

and i can’t.

and i’m heartbroken.

and the thing that i don’t need to hear from anyone ANYMORE or EVER AGAIN is that i have lots of time. because you’re wrong.

statistically a lot of very bad things happen when women have their first children after thirty five. and i won’t foreseeably have the resources to have a child until i’m forty.

and there are two things i know for sure.

the first is that i will not have the energy to single mother a baby when i’m forty.

the second is that i would not be able to cope by myself if my child were troubled in some way. i’ve seen how hard that is with a couple and it’s unimaginable alone. no trust me it is. and anyone with a special child is nodding their head in agreement EVEN IF they’re doing it alone.

i suppose that tomorrow mr. perfect could walk into my life and that within a year of meeting we could decide to get pregnant but i have to say that i don’t foresee that happening either. am i open to it?

yes.

expectant? no. not so much.

i’ve been thinking for a while that i’m not the one who gets to have the babies. i’m the one who gets to live the great life and be the crazy god mother and leave all her cats to charity. and it’s not like that’s a bad life.

i mean i’ll get to do things like safari in africa and run off to costa rica to learn to surf and climb mountains in thailand and visit alaska and adventure trek in new zealand and…

i’ll also be alone when i’m seventy. and i never for a second ever imagined that that would happen to me. i was going to have grand children. there was going to be love and laughter and fun in my house.

i was going to be the kool aid mom.

i recognize that i can adopt. but a single woman who is self employed does not adopt easily.

especially not when she’s forty. i could adopt a half grown child in desperate need of someone to be nice to them or something and i am not averse to that idea, it’s just that i somehow always expected to have one of my own too and even then it’s unlikely that i will get approved.

so i’m grieving.

i’m grieving dreams and wishes and expectations and i’m trying to let them go. i know that if i let them go that it will make the hurting stop. i know that if i let them go i will stop wishing for just a couple more years than i have. i know that i’ll stop having a haunted look in my eyes when passing fancies catch me unawares.

i would like to stop looking at newborns and feeling a twinge. i would like to not be slightly sad when people talk about how much their kids mean to them. i would like to see a dad playing with his daughter in the park and not feel melancholy if he seems like a great dad.

i just need to let go. and i know how to do it because i’ve done it before. it’s just that this one isn’t going to be nearly as easy as writing a letter to ‘you’. compared to this that knight thing didn’t even blip the radar.

some people have the hard decades, for me it’s the creamy center that’s bitter.

dear universe:

i return to you my hopes, desires, dreams and plans regarding family and open myself to the possibilities in all things. and while i’m at it? take the resentment and borderline rage combined with frustration that i’m feeling about that other thing too.

thanks!
loveums
-sass

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37 Comments »

  1. Oh Sass!
    Firstly, just because you have kids it doesn’t mean that they are going to be around you when you are 70…you realize that, right?

    Secondly, one the best things about being a woman is be able to be a mom to anyone.
    Being a biological or adoptive mom is great but it does have it’s draw backs.
    YOU can be mom to whom ever you chose when ever you chose.
    You could be a mom to the kid down the street for 5 minutes when he skins his knee and needs comforting.
    You could be a mom to the teenage girl whose mom just isn’t there for her emotionaly.
    You could be a mom to an entire pack of kids when you share with them the joys of climbing.
    Motherhood is too big to put in the box of “This is my child, they live with me all the time and I feed and clothe them…”
    It’s too big and too wonderful to narrow it down.
    Yeah I’m a mom to two children but there are times I am a MOTHER to many more.
    The hardest thing to do in this world…

    Comment by Madame X — June 30, 2006 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  2. madame: i’m fully aware of that, but i also like to think that i would be the kind of parent whose 30 year old kids would want to hang out with her. hubris i know but it has a grain of truth in it, in all the branches of my family the majority of kids continue to hang with their families until their families aren’t there anymore.

    and i know that i can mom everyone, in fact if you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you that i do it constantly. but riddle me this madame, if you were facing the end of your fertility and you had no kids wouldn’t it hurt your heart?

    and yeah, freaking buffy is right about everything :)

    Comment by sassinak — June 30, 2006 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  3. Sass Sweetheart~

    My heart hurts to see you grieving.

    I’m blessed to be a mother and I thank God everyday for my girls. At the same time, I will never be able to have any more children and that saddens me more than anyone will know.

    You are not at the end of your fertility my love. It’s perfectly normal to be sad and unsure, but no one knows what the future may hold.

    Please, please don’t close the door on your options.

    Hugs
    ~Robyn

    Comment by RobynB — June 30, 2006 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  4. Wow… what an honest post. I know you already know this, but 30 was VERY hard for me. It’s a mental exercise for me to let go of the fact that I’m not even in the undergrad generation anymore. Very sad.

    ABout the children thing, it’s so funny that you bring this up. My guy and I were just talking about the fact that we, in all likelihood, probably won’t elect to have children. When we met we always talked about kids and having a family, and we tried to conceive and were successful and lost it midterm. Now, when we’re around kids, we usually look forward to them leaving. We talk about how it’s so nice to live our lives for ourselves, the ultimate hedonists. But we just mentioned the other day that we are also somewhat independently grieving the loss of our dream for children. It’s sort of sad NOT to be sad that you won’t have kids. It’s a paradigm shift. I think I will be quite contented to keep living as I am, without procreation. (This means, according to my new principal, that I can never teach parenting again. I’ve taught it before, but now he’s decided that it’s best for everyone if someone who is actually a parent teaches the course! no word of a fucking lie! i smell a grievance…)

    Anyways, I don’t feel sorry for you. You sound together. You sound resolved to have a good life either way. It’s the people who predefine themselves as mothers before children that need to be worried about. So you will be the experiencer of all other things. See you there!

    Comment by Sweet Li'l Gal — June 30, 2006 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

  5. Honestly Sass, I don’t know.
    I really didn’t know I wanted children until I had them and sometimes I’m still not sure.
    I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel how you feel, not at all.
    You can’t help feeling the way you feel. I for one believe in fully exploring and accepting any emotions that may come your way.
    What I am saying is that sometimes we have to change the way we look at things.
    Boy I must sound trite to you!

    I wish I had something magic to say to you.

    Comment by Madame X — June 30, 2006 @ 3:55 pm | Reply

  6. robyn: thank you, my heart hurts too. it helps that i’m fairly sure it will heal and that i’m also fairly sure that i can make a family of friends at least.

    you are absolutely blessed and that you know it makes you even more blessed. can i ask why not?

    i know i’m not at the end of it but i’m at the end of the time i will willingly undertake to become a single mother and i just don’t have the resources to do it. tragically when i’m forty i will… but that will be too late.

    and hey, stranger things have happened but i’ve stopped expecting and planning and moved on to what will be will be.

    but i don’t expect that one to be on my personal agenda.

    doors are open but plans are being chucked… you know what i mean?

    *huggs* babe.

    sweetie: hee, i can’t come up with a good short form for your nick.

    and thank you, it was hard to write and there were tears in my eyes but they didn’t fall because well, that’s one of my issues.

    anyway, some people are hit by decades and some by middles, i’m a middle… but thirty was hard for several people that i know and some of them didn’t even notice thirty five.

    what made you guys change your mind? just life? i find some kids annoying but it’s almost always the parent that irritates me.

    actually i think that NOT being sad is a sign that you’ve made the best decision for you that you could have you know? if you were sad you would know it was wrong.

    your new principal is an idiot.

    i don’t really want people to feel sorry for me, i just want them to stop acting as though my becoming a parent is an inevitability. just because y’all think i will make a great mom doesn’t mean that i get the chance to do it you know?

    ah well, i’ve always wanted to climb mountains in thailand…

    *wry smile*

    Comment by sassinak — June 30, 2006 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  7. madame: i think that’s a fair response, there’s a lot to give up if you want to be a parent and it’s especially hard to be single and not rich. and i appreciate your honesty :)

    you don’t sound trite at all, that’s just what i’m trying to teach myself with posts like this and thoughts about letting go. i think in the long run i’ll be better for it… but that doesn’t make it easy :)

    Comment by sassinak — June 30, 2006 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

  8. This post makes me so sad, Sass. Mainly because I where you were a few years ago in terms of the wishing for kids and realising these are my 30s and my chances are dwindling. I think it colours my relationships in that I’m usually so hopeful that it will work out, because it takes me one step closer to motherhood.

    I realised a while ago while talking to Nat that I wanted kids more than I wanted a man, so I was settling for any old man just to facilitate the kids. So in some ways I’m glad things have worked out the way they have and I’m 31 and childless. Especially since I was settling for men who wouldn’t have been good dads. Which is a pain I’d inflict on my kids — unintentionally, sure — but still a horrible thing to do.

    So yeah I’m feeling you on the “it’s possible I could meet Mr. Perfect and want to have kids within the year but what’s the likelihood?” Except that I’m in a relationship and he certainly SEEMS perfect, so there’s some hope, but you know.. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high or expect anything too unreasonable.

    All of that said, though… my Aunt Jan (my godmother) is one of my favourite people in the world and she was definitely the crazy godmother who bought me books and lived in San Francisco and had all the crazy stories of travel and feeding my goody-two-shoes mom pot brownies (total waste of good pot, she said). So if you wind up being that person, I’m not implying that you should settle for that as your consolation prize. I’m just saying that we all need an Aunt Jan in our lives, and truly, I think you would make a great one.

    -big hugs-

    Comment by JMai — June 30, 2006 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  9. K, first of all. I have a sperm donor for you.

    Second of all I didn’t have time to read this whole post so If Im coming off sounding like a total asshole it’s because I skimmed.

    third of all, Hell yeah and happy canada day.

    but you understand I’ll be back to this and write something a little more meaningful.

    i guess i saw your hell yeah on buttahs blog and was thinking of you and what you were up to and was missing the bolognasphere and here i am.

    so, hi. Ill be back.

    PS.. i did see the whole creamy center thing… my nipples instantly perked and said “WHAT?”

    Comment by Everything Nice — June 30, 2006 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  10. O Sass,

    My tears did fall, as I write this.

    Big Huggs, Big Huggs

    Comment by Pyrhonik — June 30, 2006 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  11. Ok, here it goes.

    I might not be the best person to speak up on the subject of kids. The feeling you have? Those of looking a newborns and getting a twinge? I don’t have those. I don’t want children. I am happy to have a childless life. And it’s hard for me to completely understand someone who years for kids and doesn’t have someone to yearn to have kids with, simply because to me someone wanting to have kids was a direct result of them having found someone to share their lives with and loving that person so much that they wanted to create life WITH them. But you are not the first person in my life that has gone through this…as Jmai already said…so I have come to see it from the other side even if cannot understand it myself or walk in your shoes.

    That said…I am not going to tell you that you have time because you asked us not to. Although I don’t think it is an impossibility. But I do completely understand your concerns. No doubts on that. And you have brought up the notion of adopting. And I have to say I am a proponent of that. There are so many children who were brought to this world by unfit parents. And you would make an awesome mum. They would be lucky to have you. So don’t discount that option.

    I think it’s healthy that you gave up your knight dreams. I think those are toxic. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. Our minds are poisoned when we read and watch cartoons about fairy tales as kids. I think you have a much better chance o really find someone suitable for you and someone who makes you happy in the real sense as someone who is a bit more cynical and realistic. So, that’s all good.

    As for living childless. Again, I am totally biased. But I cannot imagine a better life. As much as the knight fantasies are inculcated in our brains, so are the myths about family and children. Few parents really speak out about how having children never quite lived up to their expectations, or how it truncated their careers, or how it killed their marriage. We live in a very child-centered world, where women are made to believe bearing pups is their destiny and that womanhood is not complete if there hasn’t been labour pain. Bollocks. As much as children are a blessing…children are also hard work. Children are expensive. Children are a headache. Children can grow up to hate you. Children can stiffle your aspirations. You get the idea. If you get to climb mountains in the Andes, scuba dive in Borneo, study philosophy in Thailand, and watch lions mate during a safari, I would consider you one ofthe luckiest people in this world. And when people tell me that their lives are richer because they raised a child, I remind them that as an educator, I help raise hundreds of them…they are my kids in a way.

    OK…I am verbosing.

    Love ya, Sass…things will work themselves out.

    -N

    Comment by Natalia — June 30, 2006 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  12. Hey Sass

    Mariska Hargitay, my current celebrity girlcrush, just gave birth to a healthy 10-pound son a few days ago. She’s pushing 43. Just saying. It’s riskier, but not totally un-doable. You’ve had to struggle and take risks for pretty much everything you’ve accomplished, so why expect that to change now? Frankly, the world would be a better place if procreation was a bit more difficult.

    I am so pleased that you vented your pain and rage at the Universe, where it belongs. Because one very valuable thing that I learned is that when it comes to intangibles like human relationships, it’s really up to the Universe. I mean, you can definitely help and hinder, but ultimately if the opportunity doesn’t present itself, well, you’re shit outta luck. And it sucks. Big time. But you’re doing the right thing in mourning and letting it go.

    That being said, who knows what will happen a week from now, or a month, or a year, or five years? Look at our lives three years ago… we wouldn’t recognize ourselves now and we sure as hell didn’t expect things to turn out the way they did. The Universe has a sick sense of humour.

    I think this whole ‘mourning in stages’ thing is part of the straight female aging process– well, for those of us who don’t follow the ‘traditional’ path of marriage by 30, brood by 35. I wept and rent my clothes over my perpetual singledom for years until I hurled it at the Universe and let it go. Like you, I fully expect to be single (because that’s the only way I can move on) but I’m open to possibilities.

    I, too, like itty bitty kids, but I realize that they are costly (both financially and psychologically) and that they do not remain small, cute and impressionable forever. I am a big fan of spending my money on myself, of making last-minute plans, going on vacations that do not involve theme parks, getting high on a whim, working late if I feel like it, eating whatever I want when I want and watching TV programs and movies that aren’t animated or star adults singing sickly sweet melodies about sharing. And if I’m anxious now– holy fuck when there’s someone in the world I hold that is more precious than life I’d be fairly crippled with anxiety every time they walked out the door.

    These are just some of the reasons I’m really OK with not having kids. I understand the ‘urge’, but I wonder how much of it is social programming, not unlike the big ‘marriage crisis’ some of us experience. I don’t see too many men actively mourning not having kids. Many will feel badly, wish things were different and even get depressed. But I’ve never seen one experience the loss the way women do– as if we are being denied some fundamental aspect of our existence.

    Some say that the rise of singledom, infertility and ‘out’ GLBTs is the Universe exerting some population control. I shudder to think of the Darwinian implications of that one, because for the most part, the most fertile are the people least able to handle it on a financial, emotional or physical level. Maybe the world is doomed. Maybe it’s a way of making sure the bell curve stays firmly in the middle. Who knows? No one but the Universe, that unpredictable architect designing and mapping our lives from womb to grave.

    So I actively enjoy hanging out with the kids I know. I do things I would have done with my own kids- treat them like sentient humans
    who deserve respect and attention, read them books, play games, seek their opinion on things, go to the zoo or museum, make chalk art on sidewalks, get dirty, sniff flowers, meet their imaginary friend and buy them cute clothing and cool gifts. The great thing about this? I do it when I want to, there’s no lifetime obligation and when the kid starts to shriek like a Halloween goblin? I give it back.

    Plus I don’t have to deal with the fucked up community of high-intensity parents that seems to be getting more and more pervasive. It used to suprise me when parents I know expressed their envy of my almost total freedom in life. Now I cherish it and can’t imagine changing it. That being said, things change, and I might too. But I might not, and it’s much easier emotionally to live in the now, because the past is over and the only thing you can guarantee about the future is it’s unpredictability.

    I used to think that people who told me I would be the ultimate aunt/godmother/honorary aunt, etc. were feeding me bullshit in order to chill me out. Maybe they were, but I prefer not to think so, because I am now 5 by 5 with that idea, man. I want to experience so much in my one and only life, and the experience of children negates many of the things I cherish doing. So I will be the cool auntie. It’s a role I play with ease, and the more I look around, the more I like the way the Universe dished it out to me. Because I realize now that the traditional nuclear-family thing simply is not for me. I thank the Universe for knowing that in advance and persisting despite my efforts to the contrary.

    But that is my thing. You are your own person with your own aspirations and values. I’m just giving it to you as a person in a very similar situation, socioeconomically.

    My grave will be visited–if I have one, which I’m thinking I won’t because it all just strikes me as very macabre– by the children who loved me, their children, and the wide and diverse circle of friends that I hold so dear. And if none of them visit? So what– I’m dead. As long as I [i]live[/i] believing they’ll remember me, it’s all good.

    So give yourself treat and plan on visiting a kid soon. Even better, you can go to Wonderland and behold the horror of adolescence. You may just get your tubes tied shortly thereafter. But all kidding aside, I wish you well in getting over this bump in the road. I hope that whatever resolution you strike with the Universe brings you peace.

    And you are totally invited to join me, cm, sa and kp in our estate for elderly childless spinsters. Our combined income beats that of many small nations, we have diverse and interesting pastimes and we’ll take care of each other and enjoy life until the Universe snips the thread. Isn’t that what family is all about?

    Comment by Princess Valium — June 30, 2006 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  13. i can’t believe the quality of the comments you people dish out. thank you, i’m truly blessed.

    that said, i’m visiting right now so i’ll go hang out and answer for real later.

    wow.

    and yes, that house sounds nice :) um i know who kp is too but it’s escaping me…

    Comment by sassinak — June 30, 2006 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  14. Life takes the turns it is supposed to. You are intelligent, beautiful, and have a sense of humor that is just cool. Nothing I can say will change the way you feel. Nothing. That’s a bitch, cuz I want to make it all better. I want you to have the happiness. Let things ride out though…in a couple of years you may be utterly shocked by the way your life has changed.

    Comment by Casually Me — June 30, 2006 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  15. sass, your family is who you choose it to be. often times friends will treat you better than family members so make your close friends your family.

    madame x made a good point: when you’re old the children you have may not be around for you. i’d like to follow up on that and say, damn straight. some kids turn out to be real bad seeds… dirtbag people that will make your life a living hell. you might be better off not having any. keep that in mind. or you could turn out to be a lousy parent and drive your children away. these things do happen you know. i speak from personal experience with this so hear me woman!

    okay. no go check out those NoMeansNo pics i posted late last night for you.

    Comment by factory_peasant — June 30, 2006 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

  16. I understand completely. Well, when I was younger…teens and early 20’s, I never liked kids, couldn’t stand them. Didn’t really want them till I married Mark. I didn’t want them with my first hubby. Every specialist told us even after thousands of dollars and 4 surgeries, I couldn’t possibly have them. I remember not being able to go to the mall because seeing people with babies broke my heart. My sister got pregnant and had an abortion, even though I begged her for the baby. Mark’s sister had 2 kids within 3 years. It was so hard. Seriously, I didn’t want to go out anywhere. I didn’t, however, ever give up my faith that sooner or later I’d have kids…but I’ll not lie and say I wasn’t depressed.
    But…then came Casey and Charlie. And, for reasons I’ll not go into, I understand completely God’s timing. It would have been devastating if I’d gotten pregnant in my teens, early 20’s, first marriage, or before Mark and I were actually ready. See, I never took any birth control, ever.
    All this to say…there is a reason for Gods timing. If you don’t believe in God, just know that there is a time for all things. Sometimes until after it’s all happened, we can’t understand the timing…
    I love you. You are going to be a wonderful Mom…and you’re going to have a ball at it too. Trust me.

    Comment by kathi — June 30, 2006 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  17. jmai: you have the resources to do it if you want to. well i don’t know us employment law but i’m guessing you get mat leave and you make enough to afford a nanny. not to mention that you own your home.

    i know you’re not currently employed and that makes a different question :)

    i just don’t have any resources like that. i own nothing. the thing is i would do it alone cheerfully and i think that makes me strange. i get the impression that you wouldn’t want to do it alone.

    i have less time than you. and i’m hoping you and he have at least discussed your feelings regarding kids?

    yeah dude i’m totally going to get to be the crazy godmother. probably not aunt. and that’s cool, i already sort of am and all… i’m sad you mom didn’t like pot brownies :)

    i don’t think that being an aunt jan would be bad, in some ways i think it might be part of my role… who knows right?

    *hugs*

    bubbles: i know, i’m hoping to meet him. don’t think that isn’t in the back of my mind.

    you’re not an asshole on a bad day dude… though you definetely have a temper. yay canada! :)

    i just hope you looked at the pics i put up in yesterdays post… there was navel. i’m at my sisters and everyone is in bed and i’m smoking and blogging and sipping a hockley dark (mild, light body, full of flavour) “traditional english ale” and it’s so nice to sit back and not be talking.

    heh, the creamy centre thing isn’t actually that happy, but i still like making you perk.

    pyr: thank you

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 1:25 am | Reply

  18. I don’t know what to say. Truly I am speechless, but I felt I must post something. I really feel for you. I felt so similarly in my mid-thirties.

    Having a child has really enriched my life. But I do sometimes wonder if I’ll ever again be able to go hang gliding (will I ever again have the time and money?). So you do give up things to have children, though for some reason men don’t seem to give up as much as women do.

    I think many people have an image of how their life is going to be and then at some age they realize that their life is not going the way they assumed and there’s sort of a wake up moment, and there can be a lot of grief for what wasn’t.

    I have known people who had kids in their early 20s and have the opposite grief in their mid-thirties when they realize they didn’t have the adventurous life they dreamed of because they got married and had kids instead.

    What I find is when I am happy in the moment, then I don’t regret the past. I don’t really think about it. But when I am not happy with the way things are today, I can get a compounded sadness, where I go back over incidents throughout the whole past of my life and think “if only”…

    Which isn’t really what you’re talking about, regretting the past, but thats the way it seems to go for me.

    I think having your own child is much easier in a way than adopting. I am amazed by people who adopt. I wouldn’t completely toss out the idea of adoption though. You might be able to adopt a 3-5 year old quite easily as an older, self-employed, single mom. That’s the kind of mom some kids need. And adoption nowadays is based on the needs of the child, at least state adoption. Who knows what’s possible with private adoption, though thats rather expensive.

    Well my son could for sure use an Auntie Sass who breezes in once in a while from Costa Rica (or wherever) to tell him of her exciting adventures.

    Frankly, I don’t see you as being alone when you’re 70. I see you as having your own pilates studio, developing your own style, having a following of students, other teachers, peers. Travelling the world teaching workshops. Good friends. Various god children and grand god children. I think you will have lots of love and laughter around you when you are 70.

    Comment by clarity — July 1, 2006 @ 1:49 am | Reply

  19. nat: actually i think that makes you a great person really. one of the things that i most like about the people that gather here is how different you all are. i really get nice and different perspectives and it’s very helpful. i don’t have to agree, i just like to have my thoughts provoked.

    to me wanting to have kids is definetely a direct result of having someone to share life with. however, i don’t see it as the only avenue to that. if you want children in your life you should have them whether you have a partner or not. just saying.

    i don’t think it’s impossible but i do think that it’s out of my hands now that’s all. i am a definite proponent of adoption but still and all i wanted one of my own. i thought that i got to do that. i’m certainly not discounting adoption but that is a discussion for a time when i have significantly more resources.

    i think a lot of hollywood films are as toxic as fairy tales about knights in shining armour. i’m glad that now the ordinary princess rescues the prince and hangs out with the dragon instead. much better role models.

    i think that i will have a lovely life, just not quite the one i was expecting. i know several parents that say that while their whole lives changed in an instant they would never give it up… i know for certain that there are other things that you give up, and sacrifice and lose. life is a tradeoff and i don’t get to make this trade so i get something else in exchange.

    there is definetely a skew to children which is unfortunate in this overpopulated world and more people should think before having them. it doens’t help that celebrities are having them to boost their careers.

    i am already lucky nat, i just thought i would be luckier. and you know that’s foolish *g*

    and who knows, maybe this IS lucky right? and yeah if i make hundreds of parents less broken then i’m helping lots of kids have happier lives… and i want to teach kids eventually…

    *huggs* nat.

    PV: mariska is so a great girlcrush. she’s even better than sara sidle. yeah i know it’s totally doable but i’m not taking that level of risk by myself. just saying.

    wouldn’t it be nice if people needed a license to have kids?

    you are so right about the universe, i could never have predicted that you and i would end up here from there. the seeds of this were there but we never would have seen them. i have to let it go, it will hurt too much otherwise.

    i’m certainly not predicting the future. i’m simply saying that conscious choosing to be a single mom just got extremely unlikely :)

    i recall your renting of clothes, you’re so much happier since you gave it up you’re almost a different person. hey if something happens great but otherwise? i’ll still be the boy crazy girl who never approaches the boys.

    i actually prefer kids when they can talk but i also know that cats are easier to predict if you know them as kittens so…

    i like those things that you like but i also love theme parks and sports and crayons. i would play dude. and i decided long ago that i could drop weed in one second flat if i went after having a kid. one second.

    oh lord you would be the most anxious wouldn’t you? there’s definetely some social programming and some natural instinct. i mean procreation is a powerful urge for a reason.

    remember one thing. a man can father a child at seventy. i am unlikely to birth one then…

    i don’t disagree that the universe is exerting polulation control. there are diseases rising that we can’t control, infertility is up and up and up and war is starting to rear it’s ugly head again. not to mention the pending ice age.

    was it you that suggested that maybe we’re only allowed to get so intelligent? that intelligence is finite?

    i don’t know any kids but clarity’s

    i think you are going to make a fantastic godmother/aunt and bella is lucky to have you. :)

    you made a faith reference!
    *heart faith*

    i think that was what i liked about the single mom idea. as a single mom with one kid it isn’t that hard to take a kid to australia with you or whatever. personally i think that would be a great upbringing (though i’d be willing to settle if kidlet seemed to need it) or whatev right?

    now is good, lately i’ve been worrying about tomorrow a lot. i think it’s a birthday thing and should pass in a couple of months.

    i like your new attitude a lot dude. a lot.

    damm i wish i could ride rollercoasters…

    who the hell is kp? i so know who the other two are and i’m so in. i don’t make a killing but i can keep us all healthy :)

    fucking right that’s what family is for.

    cas: welcome back.

    yeah dude i’m not closing any doors but one. and even that one has a little bit to go on it’s best before date. but i am relinquishing control, i have no power… the universe wills.

    thank you for liking my humour, a lot of people used to think that i didn’t have one. i appreciate that you want to make it all better at least? :)

    my life shocks me every time that i turn around… :)

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 2:03 am | Reply

  20. you guys make me want to cry you know. clarity just got me tearing up and stingy eyed.

    peasant: okay… um word. othercat is my deep family for sure, who cares that we don’t share genetics.

    i totally get that my kids might not be around for me, but based on the history of my family i think they would at least speak to me. and somehow i liked the idea of leaving behind a piece of myself. i know some kids suck, for sure i do.. but i figured my odds were okay.

    i totally know that i might be better off this way, that maybe this is the ideal outcome. i’m still sad though.

    oh i’m sad for you if you had that happen with your kids or with your parents.

    i did go check out those pics but um why
    did you post them for me?

    kathi that is indeed a miraculous tale. what were the surgeries for? so none of my business…

    wow that thing with your sister must have been brutal. brutal.

    you never took birth control? how old were you when you got pregnant? wow i’m like birth control queen.

    i believe in the universe and i believe that we are all presented with the choices that allow us our perfect possible futures… isn’t that the same thing?

    even if i’m not a mom i’ll have a wonderful life
    *huggs*

    clarity: well you might be speechless but this comment left tears in my eyes for certain. i’m sad but not hopeless if that makes any sense.

    i think you will be able to do the things that you love again, i just think that for you it will take longer to get there due to circumstances. and you’re right on the men/women thing but i think that may be changing.

    yeah. i guess that’s what’s happening. even though i clearly wasn’t going to manage it it’s only now that i let myself see it.

    i think it’s maybe like straight hair and curly hair? you always want what you ahve not got.

    what’s strange is that i’m very happy in my day to day life. i’m just sad because i’m realising that things will be a lot harder than i expected. lot harder.

    see that’s just it, i thought it would be easier to just have a kid too… i think adopting an older child would be relatively easy and if i don’t have the resources to do it i probably can’t have a kid either.

    mmmm costa rica, must go there.

    i like to see myself there when i’m seventy also clarity, it’s a wonderful image. i will strive to make it true :)

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 2:19 am | Reply

  21. sass … more and more women are having children later in life, and modern medical care reduces/mitigates the risk.

    For the record, I think you WILL be a great mom.

    *hugs*

    Comment by DZER — July 1, 2006 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  22. dzer my friend clarity has done a ton of research and i used to have a friend that was a doctor. trust me when i say i am not taking the risk of being a single mother at forty… and that i have no resources right now nor do i foresee that changing in the next two to four years. modern medical care mitigates the risk to MY life but in no way controls what happens with baby. old eggs dude, nothing changes that.

    if i’m a mom it will be an adopted child OR some magic will come from the universe and i will find a partner to do it with. of these i expect the first MIGHT happen and if i held my breath on the second i would die of oxygen starvation.

    i thank you for the thought but trust me i’m facing reality at the right time.

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  23. 35 was really hard for me too, but not for the same reason. it just sounded like such a grown-up age, and i felt so fucked up.
    still do, actually, at 42…!

    i really love what madame said up there, about the possibilities of being a mother even if you don’t bear a child from your own womb.

    and you, sass, are such a nurturer that you WILL (if you aren’t already) be the mother figure to someone.

    and i guess this is where i’m really lucky, because i’ve never felt that biological pull. it was my ex who really wanted kids… and i’m so glad i listened to my heart, and knew we were never ready for that.

    that said, sass, i feel for you. i do. it’s hard to give up the dream of something you really want.

    life’s weird.

    Comment by terry — July 1, 2006 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  24. terry: was twenty five hard too? i suspect it was only because you don’t mention thirty. i feel fucked up sure, i just also feel like i’ve dealt with enough of it that i could parent now. i wasn’t ready before…

    it just never occured to me that wanting and doing weren’t the same thing. but it has now. and hey miracles happen every day but i have relinquished control to fate.

    i love what madame said also and she’s right, but i still get to grieve the one i won’t have right?

    i’m sure that i will nurture my clients and my friends for the rest of my life.. .not to mention have the most spoiled cats ever. beyond that i will not predict and i am chucking my plans.

    funny because in chucking those many others open up before me.

    you were right to listen to your heart for sure, and good for you for knowing it and remembering it instead of changing the past to fit your current wishes.

    it really is hard. but life will bring me something else i’m sure.

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  25. Sass: I have no words of wisdom, I couldn’t even begin to say anything to you that hasn’t already been said. I did let my tears fall while reading this……..I know it’s all been said before and I know your head probably knows this but allow your heart to believe…….you never know what will happen. Don’t rule out any possibilities……

    and with that, I send you *hugs*

    Comment by Kristen — July 1, 2006 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  26. kj: personally i find it a lot easier to cry for other people than for myself. i wonder how many of us that’s true for.

    my heart is opening up somehow, it’s inexplicable but good.

    :)

    Comment by sassinak — July 1, 2006 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  27. I had a couple more thoughts:

    I think when it comes to kids, any idea of control over the situation is a flimsy illusion.

    Heck, forget hang gliding. I don’t even have time to exercise most days.

    Well that’s about it.

    Comment by clarity — July 1, 2006 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

  28. i don’t remember 25 being all that difficult. i was too busy working two jobs and trying to get established in the career that now makes me want to jump off that pretty international orange (that’s the official name of the color) bridge that’s not far from my home.

    30 gave me pause, but not like 35. and for 40, i had a big ol’ party, so i was distracted by that. actually, i started wigging about 40 on my 39th birthday…! go figure.

    and yes, you must grieve when necessary.

    and i guess the lesson in so much of life is how little control we really have. seems to me that just when you think you have control, that’s when something big and unexpected happens…

    Comment by terry — July 2, 2006 @ 2:29 am | Reply

  29. Hey sass, my heart is breaking for you with memories. I was told at 19 that I could probably never have kids. There wasn’t even a reason. They coudn’t explain why I had 3 miscarriages, why I was having pains, why my girly shit just wasn’t working properly! So i’d given up. I still practised safe sex, it wasn’t set in concrete and there are far too many things other than pregnancy out there that could be the end result of engaging in said activities! But I digress. I was devastated, heartbroken, destroyed. You see the ONLY thing that I was certain about at that time in my life was that I WANTED to be a mum. So i’d given up. I’d let those hopes and dreams and wishes go too. Just like you’ve done. So when I say I can understand, I mean it. But, you know how it turned out for me right? I ended up with Zoe. Fate, and that universe that your so fond of talking to, had other ideas for me. I know this is a slightly different situation. Your kind of making a decision based on pre-conceived ideas and ideals that you hold. And that is your right. Can I please just offer you this. NEVER say never. There is never the EXACT right time, right bank balance, right MOMENT, or right r’ship to have a child. They disrupt your life, heart and soul in ways that you can never understand until it happens. In a good way. But you know what? I honestly believe things happen for a reason, and that there is NOTHING in this world that is put in front of us that we can’t get over, under or around. Things always seem to manage to work themselves out. Yes there are ideal situations, and perfect circumstances, but that is not the ONLY way in which things can happen, and be successful, rewarding and fulfilling.
    I guess all i’m saying is, please don’t close that beautiful heart of yours to the IDEAS, please leave that door open and don’t assume that because it may not happen the way you imagined it, that it can’t happen at all….and don’t assume that what you THINK you want, is the only thing that can satisfy you.

    Comment by debambam — July 2, 2006 @ 6:29 am | Reply

  30. clarity: i think that you’re totally right, in fact that’s what i think i’m basically doing. i’m giving up control and seeing what happens. but i am not going to actively pursue either you know?

    are you finding ways to exercise at all? and damn i suck at answering mail… it’s coming it’s coming.

    :)

    terry: ah see i had one of those existential crisis thingies on that one. i guess everyone has their own times right? that suit their lives.

    i heard it takes a year to paint that bridge and that after they finish they throw a party and then start again. is that true?

    your career really makes you that unhappy?

    i can understand the 39 thing. in some ways the last year is the toughest whereas the first is a beginning. the possibilities are endless. the 9’s are about ending and what you haven’t done.

    yeah this time i’m hoping that me realising i have no control might forestall a bitch slap… hoping but not expecting :)

    deb: wow nineteen huh? that’s a heavy pile of crap to have happen to a nineteen year old. like heavy. can i ask how old you were when you had zoe?

    i was never sure if i wanted to be a parent, it’s a decision i came to slowly and with much thought and soul searching and after years of that i have to actually choose something else. i’m not really predicting the future, i understand that sometime in the next 4-6 years i might get pregnant, i just also get that i might not and that it’s time to start thinking that way. this is the baby version of the knight in shining armour.

    except so far? i was right about that one too.

    i’m not saying never … i’m saying that unless my personal circumstances change drastically and in an unexpected direction? [like my mr perfect shows up or speaks up or whatever?] barring unforeseen changes i don’t get to do it.

    don’t worry though, i totally get that the universe wills and that i could be very surprised one day. it’s just that as a single woman i have the option of choosing when trying to inseminate and i am NOT doing it when i don’t even have next month’s rent in the bank. just not. i have no safety net whatsoever and i’m not up to that level of risk.

    yeah, i’ve seen a few people have kids in my life and all of them changed a lot… mostly for the better too.

    i do think that things happen for a reason and i also think that i will make a fantastic fairy godmother so i’m pretty sure it will work out okay.

    i’m not closing anything i’m just letting go of things i don’t have. like cutting loose a boy you don’t want anymore just my own plans and wishes. after that i’ll just wait for the signs.

    Comment by sassinak — July 3, 2006 @ 1:25 am | Reply

  31. Ok, I’m late and this is long so I’ll apologize in advance…

    My first daughter was born when I was twenty-four. We didn’t intend to have kids right away, but sometimes things happen regardless of what you have planned for your life. Right now I’m a very happy and proud father of two girls. I have no anger towards how things turned out and I wouldn’t change things for the whole world. However, there is a whole lot more to having kids than that picture-perfect moment of having an infant snuggling in your arms. You are very right to have reservations about single-motherhood. It was extremely hard with two of us physically, mentally, economically and pretty much every other “-ally” you can think of. I couldn’t imagine doing it alone (my sister did it for a while with an infant, and man, I have no idea how). Sure, kids are wonderful, fun and all that other stuff that you hear about, but one must also consider the opportunity cost. Every decision you ever make ever again no matter how big or small will be prefaced by the “how will this affect the kids?” factor. Having kids meant that I couldn’t finish graduate school because I had to start supporting a family. While my friends and people my age were backpacking through Europe, I was wearing a snuggly through the zoo. In fact, we haven’t had a vacation that didn’t involve visiting family since the girls were born. I’ve never been out of the US (well, except the time I swam across the Canadian border, but that’s another story…) not because I don’t want to but because economically it just isn’t happening and even if it was, how many four-year-olds are going to be interested in fine art, ancient Roman ruins or other places and things of historical significance? No, I have a strong feeling that when I finally do get to go somewhere it will be to Disneyland or somewhere similar. To have kids you must quite literally (and with no facetiousness implied) surrender every single moment of your life until they hit about age 4 and then you may get a rare glimpse of a breather (before they find you). Your life and free time as you know it is gone. Late night parties? More like late night feedings. Fancy sports car? Nope, has to have four doors and fit a car seat. Tickets to the latest concert? Nope, how about admission to the children’s museum instead. How about a shopping spree for some new clothes? Sure! Oh, wait, you thought I meant for you. No, you will be spending all your shopping cash on clothes that will be worn maybe three times tops before they are grown out of. Your disposable income will quickly be disposed of before you even thought you had a chance to spend it. No more just getting in your car and taking off on a whim. No more driving 16 hours just to hang out with friends for a night and then driving back the next day. No more crashing on couches or not coming home. No more “Sass”, just “mom.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters more than I love my own life itself. However, one must know that for every moment of joy you can count on ten times as much stress, worry, frustration, anxiety and more. It’s just that those moments of joy are so great that we forget to share the rest of the story when talking to the non-parents. I say all of this first to give a side of the fairy tale that doesn’t often get told, and second to give you a few examples of things you won’t have to deal with should you decide to not have children. Very generally, the choice comes down to choosing children or choosing freedom. In my opinion, an individual must decide which one they desire more when faced with choosing one over the other.

    I know this comment is running long, so I’ll just end with this: if the majority of people waited until they were economically ready to have children they would never have them. It’s just as possible to raise a good child well under limited means as it is to raise a rotten child poorly with all of the money in the world. Don’t let that hinder your decision. Money is no substitute for a parent’s love. Forget external factors. Search internally for the determinants of your decision because that’s where the pain will be if you forgo what you truly desire.

    Comment by john — July 3, 2006 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  32. I just read your post today. Just a couple random thoughts. When I was a surgical resident at a major metro children’s hospital, all the extremely disabled babies had either mothers who were

    Comment by Anonymous — July 4, 2006 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  33. be advised that i WILL answer these but that i am currently off climbing with a lovely young man and will be back to comment and post this evening.

    anon i’m racking my brain trying to figure out if i know who you are. and i know at least one older mom with troubles and the statistics exist for a reason. i’m willing to push to forty if i have a partner but i am NOT willing to be a single mom of a toddler much past my current age. energy reserves!

    back later.

    Comment by sassinak — July 4, 2006 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  34. john: please don’t apologize, you’re just the rational voice a post like this needs. you don’t regret a thing but you acknowledge that you’ve given things up to get what you have. just like everyone else.

    my parents took me to europe and crazy places in the states. they took us to museums and restaurants and science centres and castles and beaches. they also took us to water slides and amusement parks. don’t limit your girls to ‘kid’ experiences please :) you underestimate them.

    expose them to everything you can and wait to see what takes. there are people who have wanted to be tennis players since they were TWO (pete sampras) or archeologists since they were four. show them everything you can manage and a little more. i saw oscar peterson when i was eight years old dude and local theatre and so on. and i didnt’ appreciate all of it but i’m sure glad i had it.

    if i had about six/twelve months income in the bank and a home i could teach out of i think i could do it [remember no insurance or help from the gov as i’m self employed]. i’d have to live super cheap but i could do it. people tend to not mind babies :)

    you swam across a border ? where?

    it’s funny you know, i don’t consider that to be a sacrifice. but i’ve lived my years you know? i won’t regret my lost youth, i had it. and it was good.

    of course you love your daughters more than yourself, no one would say you don’t. that you are realistic about the toll they’ve taken on your personal dreams in no way takes away from that. someone recently said in their blog or even the comments here something about they were happy to have given up whatever dream because they got to live THIS dream. that didn’t mean they weren’t sad a little at some of the ones fallen by the wayside.

    damm i’m wrecking it but that was the gist.

    the thing is that i am self employed, if i don’t work for a WEEK i’m fucked for a month. i cannot get pregnant when i’m that unstable and have NO support system. cannot.

    that would be criminally negligent. how would i feed us?

    it took four years to recover from that accident but i’m still paying for it and it wasn’t even my fault… and this is one of my prices. thirty five in a month with no resources (they got spent in recovery and made it to the day i was self sufficient, neat huh?)… but i did find my calling and i wouldn’t give the universe back the accident if it offered…

    i want to have a kid, i just can’t figure out how. i’m willing to revisit if my circumstances change, but if my life stays the same for another few years then it’s over for me… and it hurts but i will have a good life anyway.

    anon: welcome to idle mind. i find your comment intriguing because i knew about the drug use being a major factor but i didn’t know about the 40 factor?

    i think that’s just it, if i was supposed to or AM supposed to then i will. but it’s time to face that maybe i won’t and that i’ll be okay if that happens.

    are you in toronto? i need a doctor to call once in a blue when i have thorny problems with clients and i don’t currently have one. it’s nice to have someone who can say ‘no that’s okay’ or ‘oh man they need to have surgery NOW’ or whatever.

    i had one but he’s too busy now.

    Comment by sassinak — July 5, 2006 @ 1:40 am | Reply

  35. Sorry, I’m in the US. I doubt if there are statistics about the

    Comment by Anonymous — July 6, 2006 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  36. Sorry, I’m in the US. I doubt if there are statistics about the

    Comment by Anonymous — July 6, 2006 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  37. anon: that sucks for me… but i’m sure you’re very happy in your place of residence :)

    it would be interesting to see that kind of study. the extremes make for interesting numbers.

    i knew a woman who had seven abortions. seven.

    Comment by sassinak — July 7, 2006 @ 12:34 am | Reply


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