Not only do I not despair but I’m a very blessed guy. Here are a few examples of why:
- Cindy and Tom and Laura and Adam let me be wing-man to the true chick magnet, Cooper.
- My sister’s daughter Jessica has just moved to Oregon and I now have a next-gen family member to hang with.
- My cousin Cheryl’s kid Rachel and her wife share their awesome sons with me.
- My friend Traci has allowed me to be part of her son’s lives ever since I’ve known her and, in the wake of the tragic early passing of her husband has opened their lives to me daily.
- My niece, Denise, allowed me to help her when she was young until now when she has a clan of her own. From the days when I could buy her her high school class ring through her wedding day, and into married life, she is among the brightest lights ever.
- In fact, Denise’s brothers and parents have been among the coolest family of all time.
- As president of my Synagogue I was given the great privilege of being allows to feel as a parent to dozens of kids.
These are just a few wonderful things I think of every day. These are people who open their lives to me and give me the joy of participating with their children. These are some of the reasons that I feel no despair. I feel shared love.
So… wanna hear my philosophy of life as a dude without kids? It’s this:
- You don’t always get what you want. You get dealt cards and you play the hand you are dealt with as much joy, skill, and competence as you can.
- You get chances every day to make decisions. You can like or dislike them in retrospect but you must take responsibility for them without looking back.
- People have intrinsic value. Children are people. Therefore, children have value.
- Being the best human you can be has the highest value. Children are in a process of emerging as fully developed humans. Therefore, raising great children has the highest value.
- Sometimes the universe intends for you do do something you did not expect. I don’t have kids but, had I, I might not have been their for Denise when she wanted her class ring, I might not have been able to drop everything to help Traci with the boys when she was dealing with a loss, I might not have been able to serve the kids of my synagogue. Etc. Etc. Etc. So, perhaps my path in life was to help other kids. How could that be anything but a blessing!
- Live in the moment. Take the kindness and generosity of others and embrace it with love.
- Don’t feel bad about one thing when you can feel good about the million others that surround you.
- Ignore any religious doctrine that makes you feel lesser for not being “fruitful and multiplying”. It’s silliness and it just screws with your mind. Remember how shallow the gene pool would be if everyone followed the ancients.
- If you want kid-joy then take responsibility for finding kids who need the joy you want to share. Help other’s children grow and take ever second you have to do that as a sacred gift.
- Live not for what isn’t; just live for what is.
What all of that means to me is this:
Some people don’t want kids. I did. Things are different than I’d planned. That’s no reason to go crazy. It’s totally cool to have periods of melancholy; I am, after all, human. But, there is no value in looking backward when, living in the moment, I can find someone whose children need exactly what I can share at every turn.
So, to sum it all up…
Yup. I sometimes feel sad when I see other people who have the kids and grandchildren I’d once envisioned. But, that is a normal thing and there are millions of moments when things are just fine. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a few down moments compared to millions of up ones. Every day I look forward and, if my path in life is to help other people’s kids then fine by me, the most important thing is to use the blessings that surround you to keep repairing the sorely damaged world.
Whoever’s kids inhabit that world in the future, if I can make it better for them and make a few of them better for it then I’m a happy guy!