Trying to keep My Sanity
in A Mad World
Last summer our neighbor upstairs had a birthday. When my husband said he turned 24, I corrected him saying he was 26. Upon which, we naturally asked him.
“I wish I was 24!” replied David.
I laughed. I mean why would such a young person want to be even younger? I personally would not want to be neither 24 nor 26. Who wants those troubles of not knowing what to do in life, trying to become someone, become successful, the exams, the search for one's self etc. Who wants these back? :) But I would have liked to be ten years younger now. Just to have another child. I actually would have wanted at least three. I mean I probably could have had another if I wanted to but I cannot risk all those fears, all those unknowns once again. Not at this age. Now you naturally might be wondering how old I am. For the sake of meaning, it needs to be stated. Let's say mid 40's.
It's difficult to raise a child after a certain age. A child requires patience and energy. Albeit, I probably am more patient at this age. On the other hand, I cannot risk three more years of waking 5-6 times a night, the sleeplessness. I literally banged my head on the walls. I seriously considered taking pills, using drugs, or heading toward the mental ward.
There are the advantages too of having a child late in life. To have settled your life, not to have things left on your mind because you have already lived a life etc. Still, all could be done with a child too. As long as you think it's doable.
On the other hand, I'd say “Don't have a child without finding yourself an appropriate partner, without being sure of the other and yourself.” (Albeit, you have time to get used to it. I guess there is a meaning to pregnancy being nine months.) When I first got pregnant, I was posing as a free woman so sure of herself. “I'll have this child and raise it alone,” I was boasting. I somehow would have raised it, looking at all the women who give birth and raise children but there lies the important point: Somehow but how!
Noo... I'm not talking about the child becoming a good person. When you see what kind of people have come out of what environments what childhoods, you are fascinated with life. What I'm talking about is how you live this period. That you may enjoy, enjoy every moment of it with its hardships while you witness the world's most incredible and at the same time the most ordinary thing, watching a child grow up. I am here, isolated, without friends without family. (That is apart from the nuclear family.) It's been tough. But it's been wonderful.
It takes two to tango.
It takes two to make a baby. (Under natural conditions!)
It takes a village to raise a child. (African proverb.)
A note and special message to those “ruling” us: I am not so vain, insisting to have a child of “my own”, with “my genes.”* I seriously considered adopting. I have always thought that that was sort of an “obligation” even, with so many unprivileged children, orphans in the world. If I could give someone a better life, I had to. “Gracias a la vida, che me ha dado tanto...” I thank life for giving me so much. And I have to give to someone else.
But do you know what they (the “authorities” that is) ask you to go through to adopt a child?! Huh, do you?! After research, reading deep into it, I tossed the papers away! I understand, adopting a child is something serious, you are not getting a kitten to give to someone else or leave on the street if you cannot look after it. Still... The many interviews they ask you to go through and the money they ask is outrageous! (Instead of giving the “governments” that much money, I donate it to children, it does much more good.) Governments should stop seeing everything as a money source and using every little detail in social life to their ends. When nobody can control what kind of people have children, trying to have this much control over giving children in need to people who want one is absurd. Of course, bad-intentioned people, those wanting to use the children to their ends should be avoided. Still... You make a general background check, meet the couple, and give the child to them. Simple as that. I believe more good will come of making adoption easier than bad.
* I am not criticizing people who go for IVF even though I personally do not approve of their choice. I know that burning desire to have a child and understand the suffering it causes. Probably because my divorced mother always blamed us for her troubles and kept banging on my head that children were a nuisance, I never was the kind of a woman who wanted a child. But when I got pregnant at 40 and gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby at exactly the 40th week of the pregnancy, and lost her the very next day, my world collapsed. It took me a year to get pregnant again, and you can be sure those were desperate times. Still, I knew and my husband agreed with me, we wouldn't go for IVF if we couldn't have it naturally. We both believed that some things best be left to nature. We both thought the priority should be helping the needy children of this world instead of pushing technology for our personal wishes and psychological needs in this matter. I actually wish everybody saw it this way too, but it goes without saying that everybody, every couple makes their own choice.
By the way, I suggest every parent and every parent to be to read Andrew Solomon's perfect book "Far From The Tree."