Ozzily Yours

Monday, September 08, 2008

Neither H, nor N-E....

When the husband and I were married, we were committed, first and foremost, to each other. We wanted to celebrate each other, and our life together, to the fullest before we even considered having children.

And when I say "considered," please know that that word is chosen very carefully. We went into our marriage knowing that nothing was a foregone conclusion. Frankly, it bothers me that so many people assume that having children is simply "what you do" after committing your life to another person (the same way it bothers me when women don't, for even a moment, stop and question whether they should take their husband's name upon marriage... but that's another discussion for another day).

It is a HUGE decision, not one to be entered into lightly. And it's certainly not a task that everyone is up for. Some people recognize that, and choose to opt out of parenthood, and are inevitably told that they will regret their decision some day. Other people go ahead and have kids, having had it drilled into them that it is the "right" thing to do, and never stop to question whether it's the right thing for them, for their marriage, for their life plans, or for the children in question. We didn't want to be those people - we wanted to make decisions on our terms and, if we did choose to have children, wait until we felt we were ready.

And we told people that - "don't assume we're going to have children." That phrase came out of both of our mouths several times, particularly in the first year or two of our marriage.

Many people took that to mean "we aren't going to have children." It makes me sad that we live in a society where people really do equate "I'm not chomping at the bit to reproduce right now, please don't make any assumptions about our future plans" with "I have no intention of having children, ever." One family member recently said to me, "You were so adamant about not having children!" Frankly, I got defensive upon hearing that, and responded, "No, that was never true. We were adamant that no one should make assumptions one way or the other."

We've talked about what the right choice is for us for quite a while. And we began referring to a future with HNEC... our Hypothetical, Non-Existent Child. Potential career changes? "Well, if you got a new job, maybe it would make sense for me to work part-time and spend some of my time with HNEC." The possibility of another pet? "I don't know, Floyd might have to get used to HNEC at some point, too." Moving? "Well, there's the chance we'd need another room for HNEC."

HNEC became a topic of conversation more and more often. Until the revelation that we probably shouldn't refer to it as HNEC any longer when it became neither hypothetical nor non-existent.

So now, five months in, we're calling it Osmodiar. Osmo for short.

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