If you’re a regular reader (or if you know me), then you understand that no one has ever called me Mom. My kitty cats are cuter than some human babies I’ve seen, but their meows have never sounded like mommy.
Given that I’m a middle-aged chick who’s still married to her high-school sweetheart, most people who meet me for the first time assume that we’ve reproduced ourselves in miniature.
The typical conversation goes like this…
Stranger: Are you married?
Me: Yep, for almost 15 years.
Stranger: Do you have any children?
Stranger: Oh! I’m so sorry (with a head tilt, confused look, and body language suggesting that I should fully explain why the joy of motherhood has escaped my grasp).
You would be surprised how many people say “I’m Sorry” when they find out that I’ve never birthed a kid, adopted one, or acquired one by any legal means possible. “I’m Sorry” is an expression of sympathy for a loss or failure. It implies that I tried to have kids and failed. Or, that in some way, I have defied all laws of nature and moral responsibility to repopulate.
To tell the truth, we did want to have a family. But, believing that God has a plan that we shouldn’t mess with, we didn’t seek alternative courses. Also, neither of us had a raging desire to be parents. As it turned out, we couldn’t be happier with our lives as they are today…happily married…and childless.
As much as I’d love to quip back at the “I’m Sorry” with an equally impolite response, I usually either ignore the person’s look of dread and concern, or smile and give a polite answer. After all, when someone becomes a parent, I think it’s hard for them to imagine life any other way. “I’m Sorry” is probably the first thing that comes to their mind and they don’t realize that this expression is inappropriate. I asked my husband if he ever gets the “I‘m Sorry.” He said no, and that the most frequent response to him is a joking “Aren’t You Lucky.” Huh?
There are many wonderful people in my circle of friends who are awesome parents. And for those who allow me to borrow their kids so that I’m not embarrassed going to the playground alone…I thank you!
Being a parent can certainly affect your BACKBONE. The question is…does it change who you are as a person? Not being a parent, I can’t answer this. So, I’ll leave it up to you to ponder in the comments area above.
Does being a parent (or not) affect a person’s personality? Does it change who you are as a person?
Next week on Monday (December 6) you will have the chance to win a free book! The Chameleon’s Backbone will be featuring a book review on the subject of Adoption and will be hosting a drawing for a free copy. Remember to check back!