Saturday, August 4, 2012


It's August, the month of my birth, celebrated amid damp British summers year after year. It's raining.

This time a year ago I was 35 and a half weeks pregnant, I had mere days of work left, I had all his clothes washed, toys and nappies arranged and was just beginning the interminable limbo of waiting, not always patiently, through the final stretch..

I was excited, terrified, uncomfortable and I was also feeling miserable:
"All that is going on in the world makes me consider just how much the decision to have a child is an enormous risk and responsibility, considering the world we are subjecting them to without asking. Young people being shot as they try to escape across a lake in Norway, babies in Somalia dying of malnutrition, hate mongering media, the threat of global recession with Obama's debt talks shuddering to a halt, the acidic taste of awful jokes about the death of someone who had no access to true understanding and help. It feels like the world is in tatters, the mindless pursuit of money and control, the lack of compassion and heart in so many people with so much power, religion warped beyond all recognition and used to justify atrocity.

It's all one can do but hide away in a flat they can barely afford to rent, take out their meager savings from the bank to put under their mattress despite money fast becoming subjective and useless and dig up their lawn to grow things to eat. We are teetering on a knife edge, and yet people still go on as is nothing is happening.

I am sitting here pointlessly wondering if having children is the right thing to do, or if it's the only thing to do. I suppose the way to protest and try and contribute to any kind of decent world future is to live positively and as sustainably as you are able, try your hardest to combine compassion for others, "goodness" and not behaving like an idiot in everything you do, bring up your children as sensitive, decent people - and I have so far to go.

We all imagine we don't contribute to all the awfulness going on in the world but underneath it all we know we all do.

God, now is really the time to make a more concerted effort with these things."
I am feeling so much more positive about this responsibility, now I have my son here with me.

My body is a shell of its former self, my emotions are shredded, I cry at anything remotely sentimental or nostalgic, but alongside all this, what a privilege and a challenge it all is to be responsible for a human life. To love someone with all your being and have the chance to consciously bring up a whole new person to live in this world.

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