In light of my last post, in which I discussed the lengthy but ultimately successful process Marta and I went through to reconcile our differences in the child-bearing front, I thought I would share this sweet new music video about another couple confronting the very same issue–though with much different results.
In the song the Jonathan and Ivory talk about how a basic difference–his desire to have kids and her knowledge that she never wants to–is just something “a relationship can’t survive.”
I love the honesty here and the bravery. We live in a baby-obsessed culture–and marriage-obsessed one too, for that matter–where praise is heaped on those who choose to marry and have children and pity reserved for the singles of the world or those couples who grow old together without ever-gasp!-having kids. So saying you don’t want to have kids takes guts.
The difference between Marta and me and Jonathan and Ivory is that I have always known I wanted to have kids–I just wasn’t sure when. But there are millions of Ivorys out there–many of my friends among them–who know without a doubt that they want to remain childless. Realizing this is as beautiful as realizing that you do want kids or that you want to be a herpetologist and live in South America or that you want to join the nunnery. We are all constantly making big and small decisions for ourselves, though some of our life choices are praised more than others.
I have been so touched by the emails and calls of congratulations we’ve received since announcing that Marta was pregnant. The show of support surprised me at first and in the weeks since I’ve being aglow in its heat. But I also feel a bit guilty. I have so many beautiful, creative friends out there who don’t want to and likely won’t ever have kids and, in my mind, they are each as deserving of a a baby shower as I am–though obviously of a different elk.: A giving-birth-to-your-own-path shower, a hooray-for-you-for-doing-what-you-want-to-do-with-your-life shower, a you-made-up-your-mind shower.
If we threw them one, I am sure it would be beautiful and filled with music and glitter and lots of cake. And afterwards, I bet we would all be happier and healthier for having attended–and having celebrated–our brave, childless friends.
And so, from this one expectant mother to all the non-expectant masses, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate anyone out there who never wants to have kids but who wants lots of other, fabulous, memorable things that too oftengo unnamed and unappreciated.