I was at a local park the other day with my younger daughter, just around lunch time. She had been stuck in her car seat for most of the morning, running errands and napping. As she is on the verge of walking, she loves any and every opportunity to move around (what typical almost one year old doesn't?). I was not used to seeing such a large crowd, since we typically go early in the morning. Anyway, there were babies everywhere, from about 8 months to 3 or 4 years. A couple of moms were using the bucket swings to feed their younger children, and there was a large blanket laid out next to a bench, with lots of snacks spread out for the kids. Apparently, it was some pre-arranged play group. And, as I observed the scene, I felt this sense of longing creep into me.
I had no desire, really, to talk to any of these women. Their lives seem so different from mine. I overheard a conversation about taking toddlers to see a show, and that seemed so foreign to me. My son's days are filled with preschool and therapies. My daughter's schedule revolves around my son's schedule. And my life revolves around the two of them. I try to provide my kids, my son especially, with as many typical experiences as possible. But, usually, these experiences need to be planned well in advance; but, there are only so many "free" days.
I longed for the innocence of motherhood without the trauma, without the loss, without the challenges of infertility. Of course, I know nothing about these women, nothing about their lives or what challenges they may have. I know only my reality....and that is far too much. I know that getting pregnant takes more than just talking about it. I know that getting pregnant is no guarantee that you'll stay pregnant, nor that you will deliver a healthy, full term baby. I know that babies die. I know that I can never know the future.