by Aurora Bordeaux
It’s weird to feel excited that a doctor is going to be rummaging around in your friend’s balls, but that glaring statement aside, I choose to turn a blind eye to the ooey gooey of it and focus on the main fact: We finally have offline childfree friends.
I’ve blogged about our lack of childfree friends before. We just couldn’t find any, and every time we thought we had found someone who chose to be in the same boat, they popped out a baby. We were thrilled for these people in the way we will always be happy when friends get what they want out of life, but facts are facts, and in modern American culture, parents generally dump friends-without-kids in less than a year and a half after their child’s birth date. Think I’m being harsh? This professional confessional from a parent backs me up.
One beloved couple even went so far as to make it to their 40th birthdays before going baby bananas out of the clear blue sky, pushing their bodies past the limits of health and wellness for years until they had In Vitro twins. Now that the twins are here, in my mother friend’s own words, she is pretty much drowning. She’s sailing on another course now, and I can visit, but she can’t look back. Her time is spent keeping the kids alive. Mine is evidently spent blogging about it.
So anyway, after years of making friends who said they didn’t want kids and then had twins, we couldn’t believe it when Allie and Billy broke the news they were making their childfree status official. They said “childless” because they didn’t know they’d just joined an international secret society, but little did they know they were in the best of hands. After all, I, Aurora Bordeaux, am apparently a global voice in the childfree movement. Lucky them! Lucky me!
Oddest of all, these nice folks were our nearby neighbors back in the suburbs. We never would have met if we hadn’t attended one of those lame-o community meetings where people bitch about other people not mowing the lawns, and suddenly, there Allie and Billy were. We instantly bonded over a shared weakness for Indian food and the fact that we didn’t have kids. But most friends always started out that way, then two years later—bam—kids.
Allie and I had more and more in common the more we got to know each other, and I really liked her. We found we could share truthful thoughts the way we just couldn’t seem to with other people. So, gradually, I began to make it more clear that our no-kid status was the real deal. And she, gradually, began to share her conflicts about what she really wanted for the future of her family. She was the second of only two living souls I ever told about the Hub’s vasectomy.
Over the winter and spring, Allie and I spent a lot of time talking about being childfree. The poor gal was at war with herself. Billy had become clear about not wanting children, but Allie was on the fence. It was almost obvious from the outside that she didn’t actually want kids, but the shadow of needing to please others was obscuring her view of her own desires. She was scared of regret, she was scared of letting her parents down, and she was going through the same cycle of self torture I put myself through when I was “trying to decide” but felt obligated to second guess myself.
I didn’t tell Allie what to do, I just advised her to stop thinking about other people—her parents, her family, her husband—and ask herself what she wanted. I made it clear that I would support her whatever she chose, and I meant it. If she could silence the other voices in her mind and make it only about herself, what would she choose?
Four weeks later, the day she and Billy helped us load our moving truck, Allie told me that Billy had made an appointment to get snipped. She was happy. Really, truly happy.
I was overjoyed, but not just because we finally had officially childfree couple friends. It’s because Allie had made a decision and was at peace with herself.
I’d like to wish Allie and Billy a very happy baby-free birthday, even though they don’t know I have this blog. To Allie and Billy: We wish you a quick procedure, a speedy recovery, and a blessed life of childfree bliss. Even though you don’t know the childfree club is out there yet, well, welcome to the club.