Don’t have kids.
The birth process is a process that isn’t a one time occasion. The birth process happens over and over again as you push your child into new experiences… sometimes it’s a gentle push, sometimes a strong push and sometimes a push that you can’t keep from happening. And, guess what? All that pushing hurts just as much as the first time. It doesn’t matter that it’s not physical pain. That moment your child steps on the bus to go to school, or go to co-op if you homeschool, or go anywhere without you… that first moment hurts. That moment when you find out that someone mistreated your child and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it other than send your child back into the world with support, and a game plan for taking on their own battles. That moment when you have to admit that you can’t control your child’s actions, and that sometimes they are going to make horrible choices.
The moments go on and on, and each time you go through the birth of these moments, your heart bursts into a thousand tiny pieces with the intensity of a firework. And, while it doesn’t burst with a singular emotion, there always seems to be an undercurrent of pain flowing through the moments. Your child goes off to college – you feel pride, joy… and pain at the leaving, at the separation. Your child gets left out from friend gatherings – you feel anger, sorrow… and pain at the injustice.
I didn’t expect any warning about whether or not to have kids, but here is my warning to you… expect pain, expect to feel. more. deeply. And, expect joy. The same joy and rush of relief that you experience at birth when your baby finally emerges is similar to the joy you experience when your child separates from you and bravely takes on the world.
Tonight, my second son is courageously following his passion for cooking, and moving to another state 2000 miles away to pursue finding a job at one of the top restaurants in Denver.