A world without babies.
Hard to imagine. I can't really think of anything more terrible.
I saw a movie this weekend called, "Children of Men." The storyline followed a futuristic day when the entire earth had become infertile. The last time a child had been born was eighteen years ago. It wasn't set very far into the future. Just twenty years. It wasn't a great movie but the characters were well developed and interesting. I don't think it even came close enough to approaching how it really would be if there were no children. The intensity of that idea ran strong through the story, but still it felt like it was always viewed through a hazy glass. But it made me stop to think. Use my own brain and imagination to try to feel what it would be like if new life weren't constantly imminent.
Not being able to speak for others, I think I can safely say that in just about every hard time of my life, it has been the children who brought me comfort. Not always my own children, although quite often they remain the lights of my world. But even seeing a stranger with a baby or a child running down the street. I can't be expected to survive on this dark planet without that. And as the little ones have grown older, they still encourage me in so many ways. My sons and daughter, my granddaughter, my nieces and nephews, my friends' kids, the kids I take care of... the list goes on and on. It is my pleasure to remain involved in the lives of the young. It is the most healing and magical thing I've found.
The year my granddaughter was born, my niece, Graci, was in San Francisco going to culinary school. She was terribly homesick and was finally able to come visit when the baby was two months old. She'd never seen her. I'll never forget her face when she set eyes on that little creature. It was like looking at eternity's heart. All of her sorrow and joy came pouring out in uncontrollable tears. Just at the sight of that baby girl. The first grandchild in our family. The first sign that life that was going on. Graci was an adult now. And she felt all the force of creation in that moment. She's not forgotten that day, and I doubt she ever will.
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