Guest Post by Kelly Bennett Seiler
Sometimes I wonder “What if I’d never had children?”
I cringe as I write that. I could be hanged, drawn and quartered for even thinking it, let alone uttering the words.
How dare I?
But, it’s true. I do.
I thought it yesterday when my son leaned too heavily on our kitchen table with his pointy elbow and cracked the glass top from one side to the other.
I thought it an hour later when my younger son, despite having been warned, over and over and over again, to stay away from that broken glass, slit his finger on the jagged line.
I thought it the time my son stuck an ice cream sandwich down his pants (to save for a midnight snack) and it completely dripped out of his pajama bottoms. I thought it when I walked into the living room, wearing a dress I felt really great in, only to be told by my teenage daughter it was “too short” for someone my age. I thought it the time my five year old stuck a marble up his butt.
I think it every time I have to plunge the toilet. And, since I plunge at least one toilet at least once a day, I end up thinking it a lot.
I definitely think it when I see my single, childless friends’ photos on Facebook of their beach vacations – and I don’t mean the Jersey shore kind. I mean the “I-get-to-travel-the-world-with-my-lover-like-I-don’t-have-a-care-in-the-world-as-we-drink-fancy-alcoholic-beverages” kind.
I ask myself a lot of other “What If?” questions that don’t revolve around my habit of procreating.
What if I’d spent a year traveling the word after college? What if I’d majored in something like music or television broadcasting instead of just plain old English? What if I’d put more effort into learning French in high school? What if I’d dumped that ill-chosen boyfriend just a little bit sooner?
I need a Clarence. You know, the angel who’s sent to George Bailey in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life to show George how the world would have changed had he never been born.
I want Clarence to pop up on my doorstep and take me on a journey of all the choices I’ve made, revealing to me how life would have been altered had I made different ones.
Because in my mind, if I hadn’t ever had children, I’d be living in a small little French town (using the French I would have also learned oh-so-well in high school), writing my novels and eating bread and cheese as I sipped on wine. (There’s another one! What if I actually drank wine?)
But maybe that’s not how things would have turned out at all. Maybe Clarence would show me I’d be lonely. Maybe I’d be living in Paris, Texas and not the one with the Eiffel Tower. Maybe I’d realize I’m better suited for southern hospitality than a foreign land.
Maybe I’d be spending my life what if-ing about the life I might have had if I’d been blessed with houseful of kids.
Giveaway time! We’d like to offer one MyLifeSuckers reader the chance to win a free copy of Kelly Bennett Seiler’s new novel, Shifting Time about the “What ifs” in life. What if one thing in life changed, would anything else remain the same? When a woman wakes up to find her long-lost love has come back to life, she’s forced to face the question: Is what she’s gained worth what she’s destined to lose?