I remember the disappointment, the questions of why not, the remarks about legacy lost and lack of family pride. All because we weren't going to have children.
But we weathered it all anyway, because we really didn't want to have children. Ever. Even after being together six years and finally getting married (which we're now on our way to 10 years of marriage and 16 years since the day we met), we still didn't want children.
Let it be known though that we didn't disparage any couple of any combination who did. Ever. Living fairly free and independent in a country like ours, these are choices we made, and those we knew with kids made. We still celebrated all our choices; we celebrated life, nurturing it together without judgement. We had many friends and family who wanted and had children happily, and those who struggled to have them, happily or not. But again, it made no never mind to us.
Of course, my family probably blamed the now Mama somewhat, my lovely wife, since she was the woman in this man/woman union equation, the one with a supposedly fertile uterus with eggs o'plenty just waiting to co-mingle and bind with Daddy's DNA. Although they were a little shocked that I was even more adamant about it all at times.
We still celebrated our own mother's, even with differing family struggles as children in each of our own camps. We celebrated family and embraced most of the times as adults we could spend together in both camps, however difficult it was at times -- and God knows how difficult it was at times.
It ain't all hugs and kisses, kids.
And yet, so it was. Without children. Without being a father or mother. Until it wasn't. Until we changed our minds, without judgement for those who never did, and never will, whether because of horrible childhoods or something simpler, less traumatic.
On this Mother's Day, I celebrate my young daughters, the Mama and her sister and her mom, my sister and our mother (who passed last December), our grandmothers and great-grandmothers and other family and friends alike. I celebrate all the women who have had mostly positive impacts on my life, mothers or not, because of teaching me love and patience and mindful presence and a balanced life and empathy and communication skills and team-building skills and community-building skills and --
But for those who don't celebrate it, who say they despise it's very commercialized lie (I'd argue that Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas are worse), and/or because it perpetuates the myth that women must have babies because it's God's will and/or it's biological and unnatural if they don't, and/or because they had crappy moms and families they want nothing to do with, then I get it. No judgement. Just walk away from today and wait for tomorrow. It'll come soon enough for you to embrace your Zen.
I, however, am fueled by girl power. Happily.
In a fair and equitable way, of course.