Family Planning

Over the last few weeks, I‘ve often been waking up early. Way early.

I’ve been waking up from dreams in which I was yelling at my husband.

I’ve been waking up to thoughts of how unhappy I am with our current family planning situation.

I’ve been lying in the dark waiting for the alarm to go off, and been getting angrier and more frustrated with every second that I forced myself to lie still.

It suddenly seemed like a metaphor for my whole life – forcing myself to lie still and wait for the sunrise.

It isn’t as easy as that of course, the metaphor being an oversimplification of a complicated situation, involving two people with a lot of baggage, two continents, and an unstable financial situation. But the heart of the matter as it presents itself to me early in the morning is that I have wanted children for four years now. It took me two years to get the courage to start pushing the issue enough that we ran into troubles. In the last two years, we’ve tried to rectify what we can so that we can move forward with our family planning. Only, in my bed in the dark, it seems like we haven’t made any progress at all. Like all that is happening is that I’m getting older and my biological clock is running out of time.

The weird thing is, I don’t even think that I would forever be terribly unhappy without children. My most content moments are when I’m writing and I can see my stories as my legacy. I can picture myself as an old cat lady. It’s just that I can also picture myself as a grandma. And if I can choose, there is no question which image I prefer.

When my husband and I met, this was one of the first sketches he made for me: Him and me, in our late 60s, on the way to a family dinner with the children. Sitting on a bench in the park, just enjoying the day and each other’s company even though we will be late and the children will be upset because dinner is getting cold.

My husband even chose this scene as the inscription on my wedding ring. OLD – GRAY – LATE.

It makes me terribly sad and frustrated and bitter that chances are that it won’t come true. In the early mornings, I have no filters for my anger and no distraction to keep the darkness in my mind locked away.

It is always darkest before dawn.

If I can’t see hope right now, if I have to force myself to lie still in the dark and wait for the sunrise, maybe that means that dawn is near?

I’ll cling to that for now.


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