Every year on my childrens' birthdays I think about what my life would have been - or would be - like had I never had them. I remember a poll that columnist Ann Landers did about twenty years ago where she asked readers if they could do it all over again would they have children. The results were overwhelming - they said "no". If I remember, the vote was about 7 to 3 with people wishing they'd never had children at all. How sad that made me then and how sad it makes me now.
I think having children was the best thing I ever did in my life. I have a good marriage and I think we could have been very happy (and maybe rich!) had we never had our four kids, but our lives would have been much poorer emotionally for it. I'm sure raising children is not for everyone, but for me it was a calling. My soul was fed by those little people and I've never regretted a single year I spent with them. Now that they're grown I miss their daily presence in my life but they continue to enrich it in ways I could never have imagined years ago. They make me a better person with their honesty and accountablilty and they hold me up with their support and love. I know that there were six things that kept me going last year when things were looking grim: God, my husband, and my four children.
Today one of my babies has a birthday. It was over thirty years ago that she was born but to me it seems like yesterday. It was one of the best days of my life.