Saturday, January 07, 2017


Once again, I face the task of dismantling Christmas. I admit to being sentimental. I have the nativity set I bought piece by piece from Avon when my kids were small. I set it out each year, surrounded with angels in its own little environment. I have the crafty glitter-laden ornaments my children made, the marbled ones my daughter and I made more recently and a collection of ornaments dating back from our first Christmas as a married couple (we found a tree on Christmas Eve, thrown out by a nearby office and an old string of lights which ended up burning the carpet of our apartment) We didn't have a star that first year, so I illustrated one. It still tops our tree. There's ornaments for the times our children were baseball players, dancers, musicians. And in taking down these memories from our tree, I wonder who will collect them when I am gone.

Each of these pieces were a part of our family. Yet my children don't seem interested in pursuing the idea of children. I know they would be great parents. My son and his wife are wonderful people. My daughter and her husband are great with kids. But it doesn't seem as if they are even considering becoming parents. Perhaps it has to do with their economic struggles. All these thirty somethings work hard at jobs that offer little real security or long term promise. Although they've paid off student loans and bought houses, they all seem more interested in acquiring things than being parents. Perhaps it is selfish of me, but I feel that becoming a parent has been the making of my youngest son. I truly don't think you can look beyond yourself until someone else depends on you for everything. But my grandson lives with his mom and step-father. Any memories we would leave him probably wouldn't be especially valued by him because his mother wasn't involved.

I look at the shiny balls and smiling angels and wonder if they will end up as just a lot sold as antique in some shop. Or worse, I fear that my memories and theirs will simply end up in a landfill, forgotten. I don't want to be the stereotypical Mom who asks when I'm going to have grandkids but golly, I see families with far less having kids out the door. I want someone to carry on. I want someone to remember us. I want a baby to love and spoil unconditionally.

In our nation, the birthrate is dropping. I think too many of the next generation have decided it's not worth the time and bother to become parents. That's sad because that kind of love simply doesn't exist outside of becoming a parent. Maybe things will change. Right now, I'm pretty sad.

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