There is a moment when people stop asking you if you will ever have kids. I suppose it just doesn't seem to be a relevant question anymore. But up until that point, it is a frequent topic of conversation among women of a certain age and it is one I used to get quite frequently. For the most part I would answer that I didn't know - and to be honest I never imagined that I would be very good at it. As with everything else in my life, a major factor in contemplating bringing a child into the world was my eating disorder - and while I know many women successfully navigate through a pregnancy with that affliction - it didn't seem like the best idea - nor did I relish imposing all of my issues on a tiny and helpless human being who would have no option but to put up with me. Still I had moments when despite all of my misgivings I couldn't help but daydream about this phantom child, a small but sturdy wee being who would invariably be introspective and a bit of a worrier. Sometimes a boy, but more often than not a girl - who would escape all of the clouds hanging over my life and flourish in eternal sunshine. But more realistically a flawed but hopefully resilient person who would spend her adult life working through all of the madness her mother imposed.
I remember seeing a doctor once in my early twenties who suggested having a baby might be the key to overcoming my eating disorder because I would be "less selfish". No doubt this would have been true - as anyone with babies knows your life is no longer your own - the natural shift that occurs when your world tilts to their needs. I suppose if you have children there is the vanity of imagining that a little piece of you lives on when you pass. In my case I know my legacy - such as it is - will have to rest with the rememberances of people who knew me and in the words I leave behind - that will naturally fade and wane in the passage of time. And in my heart, I will cradle my never-to-be baby - whose sparkling eyes will glint in the sun.