Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Of Children and Grandparents
"...children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3
Last week on a typical morning, I was at the supermarket and way down the frozen food aisle I spied a young woman with a couple sweet little children in her shopping cart. She resembled Naomi much and immediately I thought, "Oh, I hope someday that Naomi will be able to experience raising a child or two and all the good which comes with that."
Fast-forward five hours later when Naomi dropped by to pick up some things and to chat with Tom and myself. I told her that, last week, I'd run into a couple we'd all known from a former church and discovered that their daughter, a few years younger than Naomi, had had a baby, albeit, without a husband. How I'd then exclaimed to my friend, "Oh! You're so blessed! Everybody except for me is a grandmother now."
Well, Naomi had a tiny fit. "I can't believe you said that! You know I'm not planning on having any kids. And now more than ever. All my friends who have kids--all of them-- are telling me they wish they'd never had any. They tell me not to have any, if I can avoid it. They just cry all the time and are a whole lot of trouble."
Oh my... In a part of my brain, I've been bothered by that ever since. Oh, not the part where Naomi said she doesn't want children--she's stated that for years, sometimes changing her mind, sometimes considering having children one future day.
No, it's the part where parents have the gall, the nerve, to say they're sorry they gave birth to children. To blame tiny, helpless creatures for their own clueless, selfish inability to treasure the precious, moldable lives God entrusted to them. To be so wrapped up in themselves, so stressed-out in their marriages (Naomi said this was the case with most of those friends) ... so uncentered, unbalanced and unloving that they rue the day they gave birth. And then to go around sharing such poison, like the gospel, to those who are, as of yet, childless (not to mention damaging the psyche of their children, should they overhear).
Now, (before you yell or something), am I saying good parents never get stressed-out? Of course not. And am I saying all couples should have children? Uh, not even! What I'm saying is that the decision to have children should be made because of what one is hearing deep inside ones heart... from a decision made between God and ones spouse. Not from the rantings of stressed-out, on-the-edge, immature parents.
As for my own case, I've never been one to nag Naomi about her having/not having children. Since she was 16 she's insisted--most likely--she'll not ever have a family, something which I've never taken extremely seriously(as a teen, I said ditto), and yet, something which may, indeed, take place. Long ago I realized I may never become a grandmother the regular, old-fashioned way.
In fact, I've had a Plan B for years, one which I've occasionally mentioned to Naomi so she'll not think I'm one of those mothers who's wild about having grandchildren. My Plan B? When the time comes that I desire grandchildren, I'll go out and find my own.
No, really. I'll find some children who need a grandmother and I'll offer to babysit them and treat them like grandchildren, taking them places and giving them surprises and listening to them. That is, if I can find parents who are willing to have me do that.
I have a feeling that won't be an impossible thing to find.
"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them..." ... Psalm 127:4,5