Hmm, what was it I forgot, oh yes, to have kids.
This came up on my Facebook recently, someone who sadly has recently found that something which was / is dear to them, having children, wasn't going to be possible. This isn't really me dwelling on a subject which is, actually, a non issue for me.
I mean that, really.
I have such a sense of "complete" that thoughts of family in that sense very rarely even skitter past like a leaf past the window. It's probably because I see family in many of my contacts. My maternal instinct goes into overdrive when I see people in my life struggling, I feel it for the younger bike riders at work, some of the more feckless older ones too. I have a sense of family with friends who I love with a passion. My family is way wider than flesh and blood. There are people in my life who I'd walk through fire for, and who I know will always be there, in one guise or another, ebbing and flowing as friendships do, but will always be my family and there at the end of a phone.
Don't get me wrong, I feel something when I see what friends are up to with their children, but it's that feeling of pride and satisfaction and enjoyment in seeing their happiness. It's not in any sense envy. I don't want their children. I don't really want any children.
My friends, I think, view my life similarly. They don't want my life, but they like seeing me do the things which perhaps they once did or plan to do in the future. We're just at different places in the pathway at the moment. There are so many things I've done, and will continue to do that are barely imaginable in a life with children. How could I have nipped off to New Zealand for six weeks with a back pack, how could I have climbed the mountains I have, taken a camper van out to Europe for weeks on end, done all the cycling and the walking and the visiting places, the being with people, the festivals, the more kind of <out there> living with children in tow. How would I be holding down a job which seems to be way more than full time, and working in such an amazing place, involved with amazing people, and at the same time living in the beautiful Peak District with an extraordinary man, and at the same time getting stuck in to an Open University degree. My life is rich, just rich in a different way.