Sunday, August 01, 2010

Shhh...Don't Tell Jonah!

Today I went to my niece's baby blessing (it is the first child for my sister and her husband). It was a really good meeting, and I felt the Spirit unusually strongly as she was being blessed. A thought came into my head that this child in particular was going to be really special. I thought it was interesting that my brother-in-law mentioned in the blessing that my niece be given the gift of compassion and sensitivity particularly in her relationship to those who might be different or disabled or have special needs. It was kind of out of the blue, but seemed oddly appropriate for some reason.

My only regret was that I was unable to join the circle in blessing my niece. Normally, stuff like that doesn't bother me much. I haven't particularly missed holding the priesthood or going to the temple or taking the sacrament. But today I did feel a little left out as I watched my brother and nephews and brothers-in-law take part in blessing my niece. I realize based on the decisions I have made in regard to my relationship with the LDS Church that those are the consequences, and I accept that. But it still made me a little sad.

My sister and brother-in-law both gave really nice testimonies. My sister is one of the best people I know. My brother-in-law is a bit of a goof, but I like him, and he's a good man. That baby is very lucky to have the parents she has.

Testimony meeting was very nice. I had a good day at church.

When Jonah and I got together, I made it clear that I didn't want kids, and he accepted that condition, although I know he would not be opposed to having them. I still don't really want kids. I feel like I'm getting too old, I'm too selfish, it would be too expensive, and I feel I would have to make some sacrifices I am not ready to make in order to be as good of a parent as I feel I would need to be. But I must admit that my new niece made me momentarily "baby-hungry." If I thought I had the energy, money, and ability to still do what I do career-wise and have a kid, I might consider it; but I just don't see it.

Still, there is a part of me that would like someone to carry on my name and memory or someone to pass on my legacy, whatever that might be or someone to be there for me when I'm old like I feel I am there now for my mom or someone who I can focus on so much I forget to be selfish.

I don't think a kid is in the cards, really, but I do have yearnings once in a while. Anyway, I love, love, love being an uncle...and sometimes I think that's much easier, much simpler, and more my style.


The Faithful Dissident said...

I think I've always known that I didn't want/couldn't handle kids. When we first got married, my husband and I were in agreement that if we did have kids, we would most likely adopt. For a while, I really wanted to adopt. But the older I get, the less desire I have for children. I realized that my desire to adopt was fueled more by a desire to a humanitarian, caretaker, or some kind of saviour to people in need rather than to be a mother. I feel compelled to be the former and absolutely useless as the latter. I had a great mother and, being the oldest of five kids, I know first-hand just what is required. And I've concluded that I just don't have it within me. And that makes it very difficult to survive in LDS culture and theology, where having children is essential -- or at least desiring to have them. It was something that weighed on me literally since I was a little girl -- because I always knew I didn't want to be a mother -- and the burden of guilt has only subsided since I've created more of a distance between me and the Church. The couple of people I have discussed this with try to "comfort" me by saying that God will understand if I'm not mentally/emotionally/physically capable of having kids in this life, and that I'll be blessed with them in the next. But that to me is probably what it's like for you when people tell you that you'll be straight in the next life. :)

When it comes to kids, I've learned to never say never in life. But this is as close as I can get to saying that, I guess. :)

J G-W said...

My husband and I are all of our nephews' and nieces' "favorite" uncles (especially Göran!). Don't underestimate the importance of being a good uncle.

But becoming a foster dad changed my life... A lot of things I once thought were important went out the window, from the moment I first saw our foster son's face and realized that he would be dependent on us. It has been one of the single most powerful and worthwhile things I feel I've ever done or will ever do. That's all I'll say on that count.

Gay LDS Actor said...

I think I'd probably make a decent father, but like you, FD, I just don't think it's in my make-up to have kids, and I make an awesome uncle, which I think is more up my alley. When I was younger, there was more of a desire to have kids, but not so much anymore. It's a lot of work and selflessness that I'm not sure I possess. And I think it's a good thing to know that before one has kids. I never say never, either, but I don't think it's in the cards.

Jonah and I have discussed (not very seriously) maybe being foster parents of some sort, but again, I don't know that I have it in me to do that.

I do appreciate both of you not taking the angle of "Oh, you'd be a great dad." or "They say when it's your own, it completely changes your attitude," etc. Blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, it's been great to hear your thoughts on the issue.

Oh, and FD, miss you lots. I feel like it's been forever since we talked.