When I was in my twenties and early thirties my desire to have children was almost entirely about me…my hopes, my dreams, and what I wanted for my own life. In my mid to late thirties and up to this point my greatest pain relating to my inability conceive stems not from my disappointment but from the disappointment of those around me and feeling like it is all my fault. Nothing rips my heart out faster than seeing that disappointment and pain in my husband’s eyes as he watches children with their parents, or seeing the pain in my parents eyes when one or more of their peers breaks out the pictures of their grandchildren. I have experienced both this weekend…directly with my parents and via written word with my husband.
My husband has been my rock and other than the Lord the only thing that has kept me sane during these last seventeen years of infertility. He very rarely talks about his pain and disappointment, and for a while I don’t think I could’ve handled it if he had. In the last couple of years though I have been very acutely aware of the fact that he has been grieving. It has come out in mostly subtle ways…ways that only a wife intimately aware of her husband’s personality and moods could detect. Last night he wrote a blog post about his feelings that made my heart swell with love and break simultaneously. He’s going through some very tough stuff with his family right now. He is watching his 17-year-old nephew walk the path of anger and drug addiction. There is also another situation in the family that is flaming the fires of grief over his never being able to have his own son. Here is an excerpt from his blog post entitled My Son:
“Today was a good day for me. I went out and flew kites with some of my friends and although I was missing my wife, as she is away visiting family it was mostly a good day. But as I am writing this I am having some strange thoughts and emotions run through my mind. For some reason today as I was packing my kites at the Lake Park Kite Festival I had a random thought pass through my mind. What would my life be like had Vicki and I had kids. More importantly what would I be doing with my child or children had we conceived? I need to stop here for a minute and tell you that I almost did not write this post as I don’t want my sweet wife to think for one minute that I regret marrying her. She knows in her heart that I don’t entertain those type of thoughts. She also knows that I don’t blame her for not being able to give me children and that I know that this was God’s plan for us. I may not understand or agree with God’s plan in this part of my life, but I accept it for what it is. I know too that just because we don’t have kids does not mean that we are not loved by our Savior. I did hesitate slightly before writing this but I felt that I needed to share from the heart. I love you Vicki, please never forget that. So there I was packing my kite bag. I was getting ready to zip up the case that contains my Prism 3-D when a random thought hit me. What would it have been like to share a day like today with my son had I had one? What would he thought about what I do? Would he be right there beside me helping me pack my bag? Would he feel strange that his 41 year old dad was just a big kid himself? What memories would we share later about this day? The smell of the wet grass, the feel of the cool spring wind on the back of our necks, or the smiles on the faces of the spectators and other fliers as they watched us play with our colorful kite collection. What would he have learned from me today? Would he have learned how to play well with others? Would he know how important it is to love those around you as much as you love yourself? Would he have been proud of me when I went back to pick up the trash that some of my fellow fliers so careless left behind when they were done flying? Just what would he have learned? Then the thought occurred to me what would I have learned from him? Just the fact that a son would be out spending the day with his dad has to be a precious thing. I know so many father and son teams that hardly ever spend any time together. Would he share my enthusiasm for the simple things in life, or would he merely go to humor me? I would hope that if I had a son that he would love me and want to be with me. That we would see the world in somewhat the same way. I would not want him to be a perfect carbon copy of me, because I would never wish that on anyone, but I would hope that we would have some of the same interests. I would hope I could teach him about God, and show him through my life how important it is to try to always please the Lord. I would want him to be well rounded, and unlike me, to place a high value on his education. I would hope that I would be a good teacher to him about what this life is all about. I also would hope that he would learn from my mistakes and from my failings so he would not be forced to repeat them. I would want him to not have to learn things the hard way, as I did. I guess part of what got me thinking about such things was watching all the moms and dads at the park with their children…”
This is why I married my husband I can’t think of a person in the world who deserves a son more than he does. He would’ve made a wonderful father. It’s the one gift in the world I wish I could give to him.