Today, at Gloucester's "Sidewalk Days" - wherein Main St. and independant vendors alike hawk their wares - I spoke with someone who lives in my neighborhood and who's wife is running for School Committee. I listened patiently to her platform and even agreed to a certain extent on her views. The drawback here is, while I care desperately about how funds in the city are allocated to public education, I don't actually have children benefitting from the funding or lack thereof of schooling.
But, I have to admit, I was highly distraught by this actual and true exchange.
Vendor: Do you have children yourself?
Me: No. I'm childless." (see blank stare) "Um, by choice."
Vendor: Oh yes. My wife and I were childless by choice. Until we realized all our friends were having kids and didn't we figured we should have part in the fun. So we decided to have a family. I'm sure you know what I mean. I mean, eventually...?"
It is at this point that my definition of "childless by choice" seems to fall short. Because my answer is...
No not all.
I am childless and happy about it.
In fact, I often see my friends with kids and feel really bad that I'm flaunting my own life in their face.
OK - in all honestly, it's a LOT more complicated than that, but still... I'm really tired, on this my first full day of 34-year-old-ness, of being treated like I have a virus called Childlessitis. I don't. It's all good. I got the vaccine.
I think those of this world who have kids and are supportive parents are great, wonderful, admirable and amazing. It's just not for me. It's just that I realized I didn't want to be a mom -- before I became one. Which, in my humble opinion, is the right order to decide it in...