Thursday, March 9, 2006

An Amber Question

A Question from Amber:

Can I ask you a question? Do you ever regret having kids and having people always depending on you? I just know that there has got to be things that you gave up or put on hold so that you could have this life that you have with kids and a husband and stuff. Just wondering.

And my response to her:

wow. you always ask the hard questions...

do i ever regret having kids. yes and no. this will sound odd, maybe, but here goes. not you 4. i was young and full of energy and all i wanted was to raise kids. i wanted to be a traditional soccer mom and home school and the whole 9 yards. which i never got to do because we always needed me to work. i don't think i hardly ever thought about what i might have missed when i was raising you 4.

with the boys it's different. i thought i was done having kids. i am older, and WAY tireder and sometimes i get twinges of regret with them. i am 53. i've never owned my own home. i've never had a new car. i've never been able to go back to school. i can't even find time to read alone or meditate or walk alone in the woods. i sometimes think, what if i hadn't had these last two and i had the hours to do stuff? then i feel bad.

things are not life, though. people are life. relationships are life. whatever the "hereafter" is it will not involve THINGS. it will involve people. the people we've loved in our lives. the people we've touched. so although i don't have things, i have people. good, caring, loving people. so in many ways i am richer than someone in a 1.5 million dollar house who drives a mercedes. you know?

i've had people depending on me since i was 4. when my mother put my baby brother in my arms and went to the bar. in any given family or relationship there is always a sense of being depended on. i don't mind that so much. i just wish i were more financially able to help. but i'm not. so i try to help in any other ways i can. i don't always succeed. but i try.

dealing with gram has led me to all kinds of new worries. i don't have money like she did to take care of me if i live as long as she has. i fear becoming a burden to you all. i wish i had saved more, educated myself more to earn more so that i had some kind of retirement to look forward to. instead, i have to work till i die or till i am disabled or till the world won't let me anymore. and then...well, that's the scary part.

jon teases me about taking care of me in "my old age" but in reality, i believe that is not going to happen. he's not good at handling life and things and if i stay healthy he will be fine, but if something happens to me that makes me less than healthy, well, i don't know what he'd do. again, facing fears squarely, i think he'd walk away.

anyway, i've wandered all over the place. funny you should ask me this today. yesterday i wrote in my blog:

"Sometimes, as we live our lives, we stop...we ponder...we moves so fast. We are busy people. Work, church, children, home and the chores that entails, much busyness. So little true interaction.
My heart longs...for what? For time? Yes. For time. Time to ponder. Time to walk along the river again. To sit. To not have to be one single place but where I am. To be able to listen to the river sing. The trees singing back-up. The glorious smell of the entire concert of greens and blues...I miss it so..."

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