Since my twenties, I have been asked why I do not have a child.
But the trouble is not in my body, or even in my head. I just do not have a child.
My mom always used to say that in my case, as with many people, it goes “from the center”, but I control “the center” badly…
I might have one someday, it is said that women now give birth to children till the age of 45+… Maybe I will adopt one. Maybe I will take a little gipsy kid from the streets, as I now collect abandoned animals. I just do not know. But I know that being a parent is not an easy role… and that a parent has to protect you from a hornet in a meadow.
I grew up with my mom and dad, but most of the time I spent with my aunt, my mother’s sister, who is still being asked: “How is your elder daughter?”, even though she has only one child, 9 years younger than me… My mom worked in what later became the Emergency Center, my dad used to work in the police, and I belonged to them between daytime and night-duty work, travels, driving me from the capital, where we lived, to small town, where mom’s family lived… over the summer at the Adriatic coast at my grandfather’s, where I was taken to by different people.
Today, I am 45, mom has been gone for a little less than 4 years, and my dad will soon turn 71.
These days, I am pondering about myself and my own essence, deeply affected by various emotions, I am also reading various letters, pictures, documents… and I came across the letters to my parents. Since I was 24, when I left their home in shorts and slippers with a wallet in my hand, slamming the door, until recently we would not speak for 3, 4, or even 6 months during the year. Those were minor things, sometimes even bigger than that, but our explosive characters would not let things turn out another way.
Hornets flew across the meadow which I used to cross barefoot as a child, and my dad used to say it was good for me to learn to defend myself.
Nowadays, I am prone to idealize them. My parents. Because mom is gone, and my father was left alone with me in this world. Have I ever been disappointed in them and has it made me a better or worse person? Yes, I have. I have been disappointed, as they have probably been disappointed in me, too… but it hurts children more than it hurts adults. Adults find an explanation, children take the pain through life.
When you are a child and the world is one large field which you are running across, tripping over stones, running away from a dandelion you are afraid of, you live without the presence of people who gave birth to you or made you, you are a net for butterflies… into which sometimes, even often, an uninvited hornet flies.
You expect your parents to kill hornets… and that does not always happen.
And the field that you are running across and tripping over stones turns into a vast field full of hornets and large stones, and on the top of a rock is one of your parents who nods and says: “Get stronger. Nobody has ever fondled me either. “ …and then you turn 45, being thankful because they made you stronger, taught you… but the same place where I was stung by the hornet still hurts.
And the tears flow. Because when I close my eyes, I feel my mom only when she is moving the fringes from my forehead. And we are silent.
If I had a child (just as I do not have one), I would never let myself disappoint him/her, I would rather swallow a hornet… Maybe it is an unattainable ideal in life, I may be unrealistic, perhaps because I do not have a child, but it hurts when I see and understand that people make children stronger, for higher goals, reasons explicable only to them, that they cannot make the slightest sacrifice for a creature that is their body and soul, that they let children look upon them as gods, and they behave just like average people… Life makes you strong enough, the parents’ role is to be the ideal role model, pride, to cuddle and keep promises.
If I had a child (just as I do not have one), he/she could rely on me. As much as it is difficult, impossible, childish, unjustified for me…
It is wonderful to be an adult and feel that support, even when you do not have a physical support any more.
It is not wonderful to be a grown-up and suffer for a piece of parental love.
If I had a child (just as I do not have one), he/she would be a person who would not write letters to his/her parents in which one of the main sentences would be: “I feel like an orphan.”
If I had one someday, one way or another, he/she would never be disappointed in me.
Because tears should not be inherited.