Several years ago, I came across a few wedding blogs. While many of the weddings discussed and presented in the blogs were far from my reality, the photographs sure were pretty! There is one, however, that goes a bit deeper. It’s sometimes a bit preachy, but A Practical Wedding usually tells a good story, shares good pictures, and makes married life (and pre-married life) seem a bit more about the process of beginning a family and less about the trimmings of the big day.
This is a passage from one of my favorite posts.
I have a friend who is about 10 years older than me. She is in one of the happiest marriages I’ve ever seen, and she and her husband have known since they met that they did not want kids. We took a long walk one day, though, where she told me about meeting her friend’s brand new baby. She held him, and marveled at his perfect baby fingers and toes, and touched his perfect skin, and breathed in his powdery baby smell. And when she left, for the first time realized that she was sad that she would never have that, would never breathe in her own baby’s smell. She did not regret her decision, nor did she suddenly want kids. But she did need some moments of silence for the life she didn’t choose.
And how many of us can already hear the nay-sayers, upon hearing this story, who would immediately jump to the conclusion that her feelings meant that she screwed up her life?
“I told you so.”
“Too bad it’s too late for you.”
“How sad that you’ll regret that for the rest of your life.”
And those people are why we all have to stand up and shout about what we believe in— because we are not allowed to admit that decisions are hard, and that just like partners, there are a number of life choices that could bring us happiness, and for many of the big ones, you have to give something up to have something else. But those things are true. And maybe, just maybe, even though we can’t expect the rest of the world to understand, we can start to expect each other to understand.