Don't like my view of abortion? Blame my kids.
Yesterday's post about Planned Parenthood's brokering of fetal body parts provoked several young women who are close to my daughter. One of them suggested that if I had not aborted, my living children might never have existed. The other said that even if they had existed, the entire world would have shifted based on that decision, and that neither I nor the two youngest of my children would be who we all are now.
I conceded their points. Unfortunately, they didn't understand mine, which means that I didn't do a good job of explaining it. Let me try again, here.
I'm not sorrowing after some mythical four-child family that could have been, with perhaps an older version of each sex rounding things out and cancelling my feelings of guilt. I've not imagineered that vision for many reasons.
What I am saying is that when my youngest child began to turn into a person, morphing from generic infant to baby, to inquisitive, focused toddler, I compared these two children that I adored. As the years passed their differences were amplified, two tines from a single handle arcing away and twisting into curves and arabesques and clever twinings I could never have imagined. Their difference was fascinating. Compelling. Absorbing.
Same family. Same genes. Same nature. Same nurture. Extraordinary difference.
And as I pondered this glorious differentiation, I marveled. Their magnificent particularly had nothing to do with me other than my "Yes". Every bit of who they were was due to the sheer beautiful whimsy of creation itself. A chance coalescing of ingredients into being.
And so I began to mourn. Not for some "Leave it to Beaver" 1950s version of family. I knew what my marriage was like. I recognized the brokenness that I brought into it and my flaws as a mother. I never mourned not having four children.
I mourned for the world, that two creations as amazingly unique and brilliantly colored and exquisitely, particularly, detailed had been stamped out of existence due to my "No."
Hear me now: I don't judge the women who feel like they have no other choice than to abort. I understand that feeling, all too well. I felt the panic, the despair, and the pressure.
I worked hard to believe that what was being removed from me was just a bit of tissue. A few renegade cells, not that much different from cancer in their ability to disrupt a life. So I don't judge those despairing, cornered girls.
Quite the opposite. My heart cries for them, and worries. My heart aches for my daughter's dear friend, so quick to say that she would hurry to a doctor to have an unwanted being scraped from her body, because I've seen pictures of her sisters. I've seen how much they look alike, but I can't know from mere photos the myriad ways that they both resemble each other and are unique.
I can only reflect on the stunning particularity of my own two living children, and catch my breath in awe and wonder. And I will always mourn not permitting those other two the chance to develop into their own intensely unique and beautiful selfdom.