I have always felt that the world should be fair, and been disappointed when I discovered it wasn't. When I was younger and discovered that the world did not correspond with my vision of fair play, I would have a little tirade and yell, "N't fair!" I'm uncertain why the absence of the "o" was important. Perhaps in my frustration, pronouncing the "o" simply took too much work. Whatever the reason, it became something of a signature line for me. To this day, if I get particularly exasperated, I still say it.
Why is this relevant? Because a conversation I had yesterday reminded me just how unfair the world is. Phil and I were at a party for a friend. I was already having a difficult time because I had just had my shot, my hormones were raging, the injection site was sore and beginning to create a hard lump, and I was in a room full of people, the majority of whom I didn't know--the nightmare of all introverts. I was introduced to a few people and I began to have a conversation with one of them. At some point, the inevitable question arose: "Do you have children?" Knowing that this person did not realize she had stepped on a landmine, I simply replied, "We're working on it." As the conversation continued, we asked what one another did for a living and she indicated she was staying at home helping her daughter raise six children and that her daughter was pregnant with a seventh. I was taking this all in stride until the lady said, "She wasn't supposed to be able to have anymore, but I guess God just wanted them to keep having kids." I simply nodded and continued, but inside I was seething. Because for her statement to be accurate--that God kept giving them children because they were supposed to have them--the converse had to be true--God had not given me children because I wasn't supposed to have them. I call bullsh*t. On both counts.
One couple's struggles with fertility are not an indication that they shouldn't be parents any more than some other couple's ability to get pregnant is an indication that they are worthy of being parents. There are many people who have children who have neither the ability nor inclination to take care of them. In any given month, I am exposed to stories of people who do horrible things to their children, neglecting them in large and small ways. I refuse to believe that God granted them children because they were "supposed to" have them. Because it's not about "supposed to." To buy into "supposed to" requires a belief that people are supposed to die of cancer or from a horrible car accident. It means buying into the fallacy that only bad people suffer and only good people prosper. And it just isn't true. Life isn't fair and God never promised it would be.
I don't know why some people get to take the easy road to parenthood and my path is more difficult. Maybe it is "n't fair." But labeling it as such won't change anything. I can either spend my time and energy wrapped up in the unfairness of it all, or I can make choices to move myself forward. I'm choosing the latter.