The various children that might have been.

I don’t have children. This is mostly by choice, though a large factor in my decision has been finances and the instability of having contract-based work that can end with a few weeks’ notice. So for my husband and I, Father’s Day is largely about our friends who are fathers, or about my father (still in good health, thankfully), since Seth’s father has passed away some years ago. 

Today was a pleasant enough Father’s Day- we spent it in the company of my aunt and uncle, and relatives from their side of the family. I managed to eat something at some point with gluten in it, as I got a headache for no ostensible reason and generally whenever that happens, it’s because I have eaten something I shouldn’t have. My husband shared some of his new line of barbecue sauces (gluten-free!) with our relatives and they were well-received. I spoke to several about my research plans for UCLA, and how things seem to be shaping up nicely with the project I want to do there. The day was sunny and cheerful, and I only wish I had spent a bit more time with my father (we brought him a gift, a couple of books about past Canadian prime ministers). 

Last year around this time I wondered if I’d ever have children, and it occurred to me that, had I chosen a different life path, I probably would be a mother to at least one child. I’m not averse to children, but I am 42 and still do not have that stable job, so I don’t see a clear path to having the ability to comfortably raise a child (and I will not raise a child in poverty or instability of any sort). This is all right- I’ve never really had children as a life’s goal. But sometimes I wonder what days like today would have been like if I had ever had a child; I wonder what person I might be looking at as the father to my child. I wonder about the various children that might have been.

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