My older son is coming home to visit soon and my mind stepped back in time to when the Empty Nest Syndrome was ruling my roost. I was reminded of when he & his younger brother were steadily in college and not at home. My heart ached - and was elated for them as well. At different times, I experienced different layers of all that is associated with children flying the coop. This time, I reflected back to when I was pregnant. I reflected on the fact that I cannot be and never will be pregnant again. I have gone through menopause, and as many positive things there are about this phase of my life, I rue about what at times feels like a loss of my femininity. No more menstrual cycles, no more pregnancies, no more babies to rear, no more soccer games to attend.
Many women embrace and are glad about those facts. I, however, still yearn for another child. I want to be vibrantly pregnant again. I want the chance to be less neurotic. In between, I want my menstrual cycle, not only because it signifies that I could get pregnant (God willing), but because it was integral to my womanhood. It provided a cadence to my female life. Without it, I have at times been at a loss about who I am. Of course, the loss has diminished with time, and with prayer and Jesus and the Catholic faith, I have been blessed with the opportunity to expand my development of the word womanhood into later stages of life.
Given the fact that I was repulsed by and even afraid of my womanhood for so long in my younger years (see my conversion story), this is a miracle of sorts. I love being female. I love being a woman. I love men being men. I love that I can let men be men, unlike my pre-Catholic-conversion when I was angry and usually felt that women got short changed.
Perhaps if my marriage did not end up in divorce, and perhaps if my husband and I had ten+ children, my yearning to have more would have less pull on me. But maybe not.
My mind will now step back into today where I can appreciate the depth and beauty of God's gift of reminiscing. He truly is amazing.
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