I have always loved children. My sister was born shortly after I turned 9 and I was her only babysitter. By age 11 I was known throughout our small rural community as the trustworthy girl to call if parents needed a night out. I still baby sit for friends and co-workers on a regular basis and my charges love me.
I didn’t meet my husband until I was well into 20’s, long after all my friends had found their lifetime loves, and by then I had convinced myself that I didn’t really want kids. It was a good lie to tell myself and made me feel a little less demoralized by the fact that I hadn’t found anyone with whom to have children.
Here I am now, 32, and ready, ready, ready to start a family. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, long enough to decide that we can be reasonably responsible adults and can be permanently entrusted with another human life. We had decided to start trying this summer.
Unfortunately, fate, or the economy, had other plans. On December 30th I got a call from my husband. I was expecting him to call me after he left work but this was later than usual. I answered the phone and heard a quake in his voice that still causes my gut to clench when I remember how he sounded.
“I just got fired.”
In that one sentence our world crumbled. It’s now almost April and my husband has not found work. It’s not surprising, it’s a story affecting thousands of families, and it dominates the media. We are not alone in our crisis. For us though, this is so much more than a lost job, it’s watching the dream of ever having a family slipping away from us. We are both 32 and feel like we have had something very precious stolen from us. We were good adults, paid our bills, bought a house we could afford, lived frugally, and now, because others were not so responsible, our heritage has to suffer.
Every month my husband is out of work sets us two months behind in our plan to start a family. He’s been unemployed for 3 months now, so we’re six months behind and suddenly we’re 33. Where does it stop?
My heart aches at every infant, toddler, child or pregnant woman I see. It may be uncharitable, but I cannot find it within myself to have sympathy for those who started this economic downfall. I rage at my radio, television set, and newspaper, all that has been lost in the name of greed. A house? A job? For us, the ability to pass on our legacy.