"You Must Have…
The patience of a saint--or you're crazy." We hear that, or something like it, quite often when people hear how many children we have, or what number this baby is. But the big thing to realize is that they've been saying this since baby #2-- yup, #2. By #4 they were adding very crude remarks, it's true, but the basic attitude is the "saint or crazy."
Notice that neither of these options encompasses the idea of abundance, fertility, or children being a good idea, a happy idea. A standard response from me is to say that I like babies and children-especially my own. This always gets a disbelieving look and/or an odd, embarrassed laugh.
But older folk-my grandparents age-will frequently come back with tales of their "large" family they came from--happy memories. But they decided to be sensible and have only 2, or maybe 3, and now they have no grandchildren, or maybe 1. And they're sad, really sad, and feel they've somehow had something stolen from them.
I've been keeping a mental tally of folks' families as I talk to them, and most grandparents seem to have only as many grandchildren as they had children--and frequently the number is fewer. This is not what most of these people expected or hoped for.
Now, I'm not talking about some weird competition with who has more children or grandchildren, but as a general trend this is very disturbing. Personally, I think it comes down to this-our children are being stolen from us before they're even born. Stolen by the lies that are propagated in what has become a culture of death.
We as pagans should be fighting this lie tooth and nail. Do we believe in the worship and embracing of life or destruction? Of abundance or scarcity? Of fertility or sterility? We cannot practice scarcity, give lip service to abundance, and expect our magic to follow the lip service. It doesn't work that way.
I do not believe in the lies told of children being "sacrificed to Baal". I think they were being blessed, similarly to cattle and indeed whole villages walking through/between two bale fires later in Europe. But now, now, we are sacrificing our children to an idol-and for all the basest reasons-fear, greed, vanity, laziness…all that we should despise. This is not walking with the gods. How much sympathy can there be between an ithyphallic deity and a man who doesn't want to create life? How much sympathy between a great mother Goddess and a woman who just wants to "self-actualize"? Yes, we should strive to realize the full potential the Gods have given us, and for some that may not include physical fertility, but for most it should. Yes, should. This is how we're created. Life is good. The Gods made lots of it. And we come the closest we just about ever do to them when we acknowledge this ability, come to terms with it and let it fully into our lives. The Gods even attached the greatest physical pleasure possible to this act of creating. We are made to create more life. It's a blessing-- a blessing so basic it comes to nearly everyone.
But, hey-be responsible you say. Only one or two, because...Let's get back to what we know-the basic facts. We are born, born, with an amazing abundance of nascent life within us. Males, from puberty on, are capable of fathering children every day for nearly the rest of their lives. Females are capable of becoming pregnant at any given month from puberty on through the next3 or more decades. The closest to a scarcity model is the women, and it's not very scarce. This so completely does not sound like a system set up to ensure one or two children.
Maybe one or two is right for you. Maybe-- but first make sure you're not living in fear and basing your most basic life decisions on lies. If you decide to have another baby you will not: starve to death, make anyone else starve to death, be the reason for WWIII, cause the destruction of the planet, or simply be the reason humans become extinct. Think of this like analyzing a campaign, or solving a mystery-who benefits from these lies? Not you, ever, and not your children.
You will discomfit the Joneses. Good for you.
©2007 Oak Hedge