Yesterday my husband and I got into the car and started driving. We ended up going about 200 miles (maybe more) around the state, no destination in mind, just enjoying ourselves and each other. We talked about a lot of things, some big issues, some minor. One of the things we talked about are all the places we want to see - Yosemite, Australia, Novia Scotia (he has been there before, I haven't), and others. And I said, "That's the great thing about us, Hon. We're not having kids, so whenever we want, we can pack up and go. Isn't that great?" He turned and looked at me. "Sure hon." His words kind of fell into the space between us.
"You know," I said, "I don't understand why people don't listen when I say I don't want kids. It makes perfect sense to me. Even my students are confused by it, when they are one of the major reasons for it!"
"Honey, no one understands it. The guys at the mill don't, no one I tell can believe it." Then he shrugged as if to say it was no big deal.
He's right. No one really understands that I don't want children. As in, not ever. It's not something that is going to change, it's not something I'm going to "grow out of." Most people just smile and nod, placating me, waiting for the chance to say "I told you so" when I finally (inevitably in their minds) tell them that I'm pregnant.
Here's a hint: IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! EVER.
As I read this morning's Postsecret, I realized that if I were to write a postcard and send it to Frank, this is what my secret would be:
"No one understands that I don't want children. I find their lack of belief patronizing and disappointing. It's as though they don't see me as I really am, don't accept that that person could really exist. When they do that, it makes me hate them. Just a little."
I don't hold out any realistic hope that anyone will listen to me this time, either. But all I can do is keep saying it and hope that someday, finally, people will believe me and actually accept that this is how I want to live my life. But honestly? I'm not holding my breath.