Last year, during a party at my sister’s house, I sat in dumbfounded silence as she told her friends that, really, having children after 35 was too dangerous. She went on to list all the reasons, medical and physiological, why having children early on was the best decision. And why she wouldn’t consider having children later in life.
I am 34. I don’t have children. Yet.
I asked my mother later if I was overreacting, if feeling betrayed and hurt by her comments was somehow the wrong reaction to have. She brushed the incident aside, making light of the comments and my reaction to them.
But I did feel hurt. I felt like it was some sort of personal attack on my possible future. I felt like it was some sort of personal attack on the possibility of my ever having children.
I know that it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if any person other than my sister had uttered those words. I know that I wouldn’t have given the comments as much consideration if some friend or stranger at a party had given me her opinion that way. But this was my sister. This was my sister telling everyone within earshot that, considering my age, it would be reckless to even consider having children.
I was hurt. And I was worried.
There is a part of me that knows that there’s some truth to what she said. It was a truth I did not want shoved into my face in public.
I came across a story about a new test to detect down syndrome that brought all this up for me. And, if it works, gives me some hope that my sister may not be completely correct.
I do expect that I will have children some day. I just don’t know when.
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