One day Christi came into my office after school, slammed her backpack to the ground and declared “I am never having children!” Christi was in 7th grade and had just been shown the “Joy of Life” video in her health class. Being the ever sensitive mom, I laughed until my sides hurt and tears ran down my face as she recounted the horrors she had witnessed. Then she turned her astonished blue eyes on me, “why would you possibly do that once much less three times!” You might think she was amazed by her mother’s astounding strength to endure the horrors of childbirth on three separate occasions and still survive to live a happy productive life. Instead I realized that even though it endangered her literal “being” she thought I was mentally challenged to knowingly subject my body to such abuse.
Christi is now 25 and living in Phoenix with her boyfriend, Kenny and my female granddog, Fuji. One of Christi’s co-workers has just had a baby. Christi and Kenny babysat for her one day so she could go to work. After the baby went back to its rightful owners, Christi called me on the phone. I was ready to hear about how much she enjoyed the baby and maybe give me some hint that the trauma of the 7th grade health video had been mellowed with time. But alas, this was not to be. As we finished up the conversation she made it perfectly clear that babysitting was fine but having one of her own was not something she was prepared to do. Luckily for me I did endure the “Joy of Life” three times. Little did I know at the time but I was hedging my bet on someday having grandchildren.