December 2, 2023

Forging My Own Kid-less Path

Me with my first dog and only sister

I’ve never been a follower, so it’s not surprising to most who know me that I’m willing to swim against the childbearing current. Or perhaps having children is more like a fashion that never goes out of fashion?

When I was young, my teachers would find me working on a project not related to our assignment, and most of them would surrender to the fact that I flourished more when I did my own thing.

Which one more irreverent?

In my age five ballet photos I’m the tall skinny girl doing the opposite moves from the rest of the class.   When the instructor suggested to my mom that perhaps another kind of class would be more appropriate for my free spirit moves, my mom assured me not to worry about being kicked out and reminded me that there’s nothing wrong with dancing to my own music.

I’ve been dancing ever since, and though my moves are no more graceful than age five I still can’t sit still when music plays.  If you don’t look a little like a fool when you dance, how much fun could you really be having?

In college, my creative writing teacher and advisor would give an assignment and then usually qualify by saying to me: “Susan, you do what you want. It’ll turn out better that way.” He knew that artificial parameters would always limit my creativity.

In the 70’s everyone in my school decided to wear Topsider shoes. I pleaded with my mother to get a pair.

“But Evvv-er-yone has them mom.  Everyone but me.”

“Since when are you such a follower,” she said. “They don’t support your high arches, and for the last time, no.”

Right, I thought, don’t be such a follower. That’s not like you.

I’m proud of myself always dancing and for not blindly following most of my friends into motherdom.

which mom? which non-mom?

For many it’s the right choice.  For me it was not, and thank goodness I took the time to critically analyze my needs and capabilities to make an informed choice.

A look at some of my childhood photos reveals the rebel in me.  Can you tell which one of these girls became a super-mom and which one remained irreverent and childless?

What did your childhood photos reveal about your breeding future?  Do share!

My sister, the super mom

My sister, the super mom