Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ladies Without Babies

Today, I just want to share this poem I found in my files. I wrote it when I was really having a hard time with the whole childless thing. I admit that some of this does not apply to ladies with dogs.

Ladies without babies
have kittens and puppies
and goldfish with names.
They treat them like dolls,
they pretend to play house,
but it certainly isn't the same.

Ladies without babies
have neat little houses
with reachable knick-knacks
and cream-colored carpets,
glass without noseprints,
low-hanging spice racks.

Ladies without babies
get nervous when mommies
bring fat drooling babies
to spread crumbs and dribble
on white satin sofas
and rip up their papers.

Ladies without babies
become doting aunties
to nephews and nieces
whose photos they flash
when ladies with babies
share latest releases.

Ladies without babies
have big empty laps,
breasts never needed to nurse.
Like girls in a play
with a family of dolls,
their wombs can only rehearse.

Copyright 2010 Sue Fagalde Lick

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mommy Training

The little blonde girl wandered around the auditorium at the monthly Fiddlers Jamboree clutching her little blonde doll. Now and then the girl talked to the doll and stroked its plastic hair. When the fiddle music got lively, she danced with her, looking back to make sure her mother was watching.

Across the room, a plain-looking woman with thick glasses and scraggly brown hair displayed a real baby as if it were a trophy. She showed that newborn to everyone. Look, see what I have. Suddenly this mousy woman had a claim to greatness: she had borne this baby. It was a very new baby, its navel still not healed, its head a soft formless bobble buried in blankets. She held it very carefully and proudly.

Meanwhile, I cradled my guitar and watched a tall blond in tight black jeans, a striped tank top and a cowboy hat serve cake to her fat daugh5ter whose buck teeth matched her mom's. The mother had the MC proclaim that it was Shannon's eighth birthday. After feeding her a giant portion of chocolate-frosted birthday cake, she hauled the kid on stage with her violin to squeak out a horrendous rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and an even worse "Red River Valley."

The mother stood by, smiling, sure that her fiddle-playing friends were impressed by her little prodigy. The woman overseeing the show held her hand over her mouth the whole time. I couldn't tell whether she was laughing or horrified.

Just when I couldn't stand much more of this mother-and-child adoration, I noticed the first little girl had dropped her doll on the ground and gone in search of other amusement. In fact, I almost stepped on the doll.

The toddler is a mommy in training—as I was once. I learned my lessons well, but I was trained to be something I didn't become. I sat in that sweltering auditorium, nervously awaiting my turn on stage and felt like a girl who had gone to a party and forgotten to bring her dolly. What did I have to show off? Just a nicked-up guitar and a couple of country songs.

This is an excerpt from my Childless by Marriage Book. Have you had moments when you felt so totally left out because you didn't have children?

Copyright 2010 Sue Fagalde Lick

Monday, September 6, 2010

What is the purpose of marriage?

I recently read a blog post that maintained that couples should divorce if they aren't going to have children--because marriage is all about procreation. Is it? Another post noted that on the Maslow list of basic human needs, finding a mate and parenting are right at the top with food and shelter. However, one could meet the parenting needs with children other than their own. What do you think?

Certainly, many religions believe that married couples are supposed to have children. I'm Catholic, and the vows clearly state that couples will gladly accept children and raise them in the Catholic faith. In fact, I got my first marriage annulled through the church on the grounds that my husband refused to have children. There's no question about what our church preaches. In fact, at a women's potluck dinner last week, I was clearly reminded of that fact as I sat like a rock in a river listening to women all around me talk about their children and grandchildren.

But what is the purpose of marriage? When I married Fred, children weren't foremost in our minds, especially after he told me he didn't want any more kids. He had three from his first marriage. This marriage was for love, companionship, sex, taking care of each other. We simply wanted to be together. Isn't that a good enough reason to be married? It occurs to me that Fred had already done the procreation part of life with his first wife. Now, it would seem I had missed my chance. I was supposed to make babies with Jim and I didn't. But at least I wasn't alone.

What do you think about all this? I welcome your comments.