My first born and only son turns thirty today. I’m not sure how that makes me feel. Old? No, not really. I was twenty-nine and Don and I had been married less than a year when Josh was born. In those days, people tended to marry and have kids when they were younger so I guess in a way I felt “older” then, relatively speaking. Many of my friends from high school already had children in school by the time my first came into the world. At back to school nights and little league games we were often among the oldest parents. Some of those young couples found a way to make it work and are still together and enjoying grandchildren and even a few great grandchildren. Others sadly went their separate ways.
Things are different these days. Young people don’t feel the same social pressure to get married and have children as early or even at all. And I think that is a good thing. It can be hard just to figure out who you are and what you want out of life without throwing spouses and children into the mix. Both of my children are comfortably single without children of their own. They have important careers that they enjoy and that allow them to travel the world. They have friends both single and married. I am proud of the work they do and inspired by their willingness to give back to their communities and nation.
Do I hope that someday they will meet their “soul mate” ? Absolutely. It is such a blessing to have a partner who gets you, supports you and makes you feel loved, especially when times get tough as they do every now and then. But that is something that should happen naturally when they meet the right person. It should not be something that is manufactured because a biological clock is ticking. I do not profess to know what their soul mates might look like or the kind of personality they might have. I am sure that my parents never would have selected Don as a potential life partner for me, yet here we are together for over 33 years and we love each other a little more every day. That is what I would wish for my children when the time is right. Grandchildren would just be a wonderful bonus.