Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

It's supposed to be 94 degrees today, which in and of itself is annoyingly hot for September. But to make matters worse, I heard on the way into work that the humidity is going to be at 97%. I mentioned that to my coworker and he said that he heard it's going to be one thousand one hundred percent humidity.

I think what he heard is more accurate to what it will feel like.

In other thoughts, I am not proud to admit that I took the bait on Facebook this morning. A relative of mine posted something that hurt me a lot. Something that made me feel like a shadow person. And I reacted. Not unkindly - not rudely. But I did respond.

I 'm not going to quote the whole thing but she basically wrote a status update that said that until you have children of your own, nothing you experience in life will be whole. Eating ice cream isn't the same until you eat it with your kid, going to the zoo is hollow unless you go with your children (and she listed about 10 other experiences that I thought I enjoyed but apparently since I don't have children, I was only half enjoying them).

One of my sisters who is very sensitive to how I feel (and is a mother herself) saw this post and knew it would hurt me. So she emailed me and said, "don't let her get you down. She was wrong. She may as well have said, 'you'll never know how good pooping feels until you see your own child really poop for the first time.'" She added that she knew how good ice cream was long before she had kids of her own.

That made me feel a little better. Poop is always funny. And ice cream is always delicious. (Just NEVER mix the two up - whatever you do!!)

This relative has said things like this to me before. One Christmas morning I was feeling very vulnerable. I love Christmas, but holidays can sometimes be hard when you're single. But I put on my happy face and went to our family meal. Somehow I got seated at a table with this relative, who in the course of the conversation told me that I'll never truly understand joy until I see my own children open their presents on Christmas morning.

I was tempted to throw our folding table on it's side and yell something like, "Oh yeah!? Well YOU'LL never understand joy until you.... shut your mouth!" Or something equally eloquent. But instead I just ate my sweet potatoes and cried later that night.

The thing about this relative is that she is a nice person. I love her and her family. But she doesn't think about the impact her words will have.

I have always wanted to have a family of my own and even at my advanced age I haven't given up on that dream. But until it happens, I don't want to think of myself as a half person. Only able to experience half of life, half of the joy available, half of the enjoyment of holidays, half of the way a cool fall breeze feels, half of the first bite of a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, half of snuggling up under a blanket in front of a fireplace, half of jumping into a pool on a hot day, half of playing with a fluffy puppy, and so on.

I choose to live as a full person until I have kids, at which time I will continue to live as a full person and enjoy the experiences that will come with new opportunities to share happiness.

Rant over.

Happy Wednesday!


Wee Sisters Three said...

Love this post (and not just because you mention me as you favorite sister...sorry K...accept the reality). This relative really does need to think before she speaks. The sad thing is that she really feels this way. It is fun to watch your children do things in life, but I never felt like it wasn't as fun before I had kids. It's different sometimes (and not always a good different. Sometimes I'd like to go to the zoo without the kids and look at what I want to look at!!).

Joe D said...

I would say this relative also has forgotten the joys of being single withOUT kids. Like being able to leave the house on a whim to hang out with your friends, or being able to poop in peace without someone pounding on the door shouting "MOM!", being able to act the way you want without thinking of how your kids will pick up on your behavior and emulate it.. I'm sure kids are great, but being single and FREE is also pretty great. They are just different kinds.

Sara said...

Love this!! This is just a smug thing to say, and the person should know how her words affect others. I would have felt the same way and cried for sure after Christmas dinner. I love the idea of choosing to live as a whole person!

Dana Burnette said...

I second all these comments! I heard a really great relief society fireside talk a couple years ago that I think about all the time. The speaker focused on how people (women especially) communicate with each other and one of the main things she said is that we shouldn't define each other or label each other by our relationship status or if we are mothers. The first things we say to each other should never be "what does your husband do?" or "how many kids do you have?" because we are not only important regardless of those things, but because we are independent people as well. I don't have kids and certainly don't feel like I am limited at enjoying things, and it's sad that she feels she didn't fully enjoy life without kids. I fully enjoy movies and hiking and eating out and listening in sacrament meeting and sleeping in and going to the zoo AND eating ice dream without a little ankle biter. Love ya girl!

Katherine said...

Amen!! I LOVE this post. I am SO bothered when people (women especially) define themselves by outside factors alone. I agree with what Dana was saying, too - we are or can be mothers or wives or fathers or husbands, but we are also individuals. And we can and should enjoy and get the most out of life as individuals as well as with our family and friends! I would NEVER say to a mother, "Well you just don't know the joy of eating ice cream unless you can do it in absolute silence and eat it whenever you want and not have to share it." I feel like my life in incredibly full as a single woman, and will continue to be so after I'm married with kids. Sigh. I think you rule, and insensitive people drool!!! (Wait, was that insensitive of me? ...Sorry...)

Brooke Romney said...

Thanks for sharing. It's easy to forget how hurtful words can be. Having kids does change things, but I found immense fulfillment in experiencing things alone and just with my husband. You lead a much more fulfilling life than most ;).