Last week I had a dream that I awoke from in tears (I know what you’re thinking: “You’ve already told us you cry at the drop of a hat, why should that surprise us?”) But dreams are a whole other ballgame. I do dream a lot, and usually I remember bits and pieces. When I awake from them in tears though, I tend to pay a little more attention.
Before I tell you about my dream, a little background information is necessary. I am almost 48 years old, two years into my second marriage. I have a daughter who will be 22 next month, and a son who is 14 1/2 years old. My husband has three children of his own, ages 26, 24, and 22.
In my dream I was pregnant. For whatever the reason, in my dream we decided not to keep the baby. However, we weren’t aborting the pregnancy nor was I going to carry the baby and then give it up through adoption. No, for some reason we chose to give the baby to another couple through what I’m going to refer to as some sort of in vitro fertilization process. (I think I’m actually afraid to do a little research and find out that this is actually done all the time.) A doctor withdrew the baby from my uterus using what looked like a turkey baster. He then injected the baby into the other woman. But before he could do so, I saw my child. I could see the body curled up as a baby would, and I could see the face. A smiling face. This is when I woke up. Crying. Practically sobbing.
It’s probably not too hard to imagine why I would be crying and there are several possible reasons. But I know why I cried in my dream and why I was still crying when I awoke. It was the thought of what could have been. If we had had a child together, what would it have been like? We have five wonderful, beautiful children between the two of us, but on at least one occasion we have wondered about what will never be. Would this child have looked like me but had his musical talents? Would it have looked like any of the other kids?
While the paths that eventually led us to fall in love and live a life together made us who we are, I wonder what would have happened if we had met sooner. Would we be who we are today? Would we have connected then the way we do now? Would we have had a house full of kids?
I’d like to think that i have no regrets, but I would have to say this is one of them. I wish we’d been able to make a baby together. However, I know that I love his children as much as he loves mine. They are now “our children” and I can’t imagine my life without any of them.
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I can understand this, even though I’m not in this situation. When I think about lost love, one of the topics that alwyas rises to the surface in my mind is the children we didn’t have. And yes, who we pair off with in life affects who we become, what our life looks like, even if we go our separate ways. I often wonder about other choices I could have made–not with regret but with curiosity.