“The children don’t have to bring the joy.”
I read this sentence in a blogpost (extolling the virtures of motherhood – or in our case, the resolution of infertility – so be warned, and read at your own risk) recently. It’s my message, and I firmly believe it is true for me, and can be true for all of us. But my negative inner voices kept telling me that others who have children would deny it, tell me I’m kidding myself about the joys of no kidding, and would play the Joy Olympics by claiming that they have an extra dimension and therefore extra joy in sharing experiences with their children.
I don’t doubt that sharing wonderful experiences with your children brings another dimension to that experience that I don’t have. But maybe we have other, different dimensions and intensities too, coming with the knowledge that we don’t get to share these experiences with our children, and the awareness that we alone must soak up the joy and the memories.
Everyone experiences the world differently, and so - despite my negative inner voices - it doesn’t seem strange to me that these could be intensified and expanded simply because of our No Kidding status, in the same way that a parent might experience other different dimensions and emotions.
In other words, playing in the Joy Olympics is just as dangerous as playing in the Pain Olympics.