So it’s starting to happen…

Many of my married friends are having children.

I wondered how I’d feel about this, since my wife and I can’t have kids and yes, indeed, the feelings are mixed between personal sadness and grand elation.

A number of friends I have often take the bitter pill when they hear of the success of others when things aren’t going well for them. Others hate to hear “I have a boyfriend and he’s great!” when they are alone. I suppose when people are smitten by the love bug that others can find their romantic bliss disgusting infatuation.

But isn’t this a bit of a spiritual misnomer?

Shouldn’t the joy of others bring us joy? Shouldn’t the birth of a child always be a happy occasion even if it isn’t my child and even if that won’t ever happen for me? I’m looking at a little baby in Logan Airport right now and his mother looks filled with joy (and maybe in need of a bit of sleep).

Perhaps what really got me in touch with this was this recent video, that my friend Michelle Larkin (nee Gillan) from my Fordham days posted of her and her newborn child Reece on Facebook.

There’s no embed but once “mom” starts talking HERE I tear up instantly.

Michelle was the first friend I met at Fordham and when I see the joy on her face that is brought to her by this child, how can I not be happy? How can I possibly focus on my own loss of knowing that I’ll most likely not have a similar experience (well, I’d have the experience that her husband Tim is having!)?

Perhaps when feelings of loss come to us naturally when we experience the joy of others, we might notice that we haven’t grieved our own losses properly. Perhaps something is missing in our lives that we might not have control over and we need to ask ourselves “what else is offered?” to ourselves.

Not having a child gives me more time for the students at UB, young adults in volunteer organizations and others who I minister to. In a sense I am giving life in a different way to them and to my wife and even to that little ball of fur called my dog.

What else is God calling me to if he is not calling me to what Michelle and Tim and other parents have?

I don’t always know. But I always trust that it will be wonderful

0 thoughts on “Baby Buggies”
  1. I didn’t marry or have children. At one point in my life, I think it made me feel a little desperate. However, and I don’t know if this helps, even if both marriage and children have brought my friends joy, they have also brought grief. One person told me for years that I was totally missing out on the real meaning of life, but now is going through the divorce from hell and has two children who won’t talk to her.

    Long story short, neither path is guaranteed happiness. Either path will bring its own pains and sorrows. Both paths call us to live outside of ourselves, for others, looking for the ways to build up the Kingdom, to comfort, to laugh with our friends, to help console when others grieve.

    You live with the situation you are given – and the grace is to learn to live with it well, and keep pointing in the direction of what really does matter: our life with God.

  2. Thanks for the honesty of the post.
    It touches on a bridge that I may soon be crossing. I may need to grieve too the possibility of my wife and I having no children. I wonder how to do that.

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