Right now, there’s a really annoying song on the radio. I wasn’t really listening until she got to the line: “The greatest thing you’ll ever do is have a child.” Yeah. Whoever the singer is goes on to say it’s so great to have a … son (big surprise), that having a son means a woman has the world in the palm of her hand.
The idea that my worth is measured by the children I’ve had is hurtful. If I were childless by choice, this kind of thinking would upset me. But my childlessness wasn’t part of any kind of plan I had for my life. It’s just where my life has left me, so hearing things like this song really touch a nerve.
A few months ago, I learned that a woman I’d met had died suddenly. I was shocked and trying to process that when the person who gave me the news went on to say it wasn’t so bad because she wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. “You know, she was single …” (which was when she seemed to hear what she was saying, to realize she was saying to a single, childless woman that the death of a single, childless woman wasn’t a big deal or a great loss) “… so at least there isn’t anything like that to worry about.” Yeah. She died suddenly, a relatively young woman, but it’s ok because it’s not as though she mattered to anyone.
My inability to have a baby rears its teary head fairly often, but certainly on this day, it’s real close to the surface. So close, that even hearing a song as completely inane as this one is enough to open the floodgates.