You don’t know what it’s like…

By now, you’ve probably seen the latest Coke ad. It’s been shared on virtually every social media outlet. So good work, Coke’s ad agency.

It’s really lovely. I actually cried the first time I saw it. Then I felt like a moron for crying over a television commercial. The Bee Gees get to me.

I didn’t cry for the same reasons most of my friends did. I got teary because it hurt. It hurt like a canker sore you forget about and bite down on without thinking.

When we got married, I thought I would be the mother of many children. But pregnancy didn’t work out for me. Adoption was difficult. We got through the whole process mostly unscathed, and now we have a fantastic child. He’s killing me with the whole being seven thing. But he’s fantastic.

The cold reality is that we’re not going to have more children. We’ve talked about it. A lot. There are a variety of reasons. What it all boils down to is that I’m not the mother of many children. I’m the mother of this one child. That’s the way it is.

Here’s the thing: I really like this life I have with my family. It’s beyond good. It might not be what I thought it was going to be, but it’s pretty freaking great. I don’t actually want it to change.

It’s just that there is this little piece of me that’s sad. I’ve come to realize it’s always going to be that way.

It’s that fraction of my heart that causes me irrational guilt. I worry my son is missing out on something because he doesn’t have a sibling. But then I’ll talk to the woman who’s been my best friend since birth. I remember you don’t have to share parents to be family.

Coke has done absolutely nothing wrong. But along with my irrational guilt comes absurd anger. I want to shout at the ad, “It’s not fair to pick that scab right now. This time of year is hard enough. I don’t need any help to make it harder.”

But that would be the sign of a crazy person…which of course I am not.


5 thoughts on “You don’t know what it’s like…

  1. As an only child and an adopted child it seems we have a lot of pressure on us from the get-go. I felt bad that my sister died at birth – but I felt bad for my parents…….heck, I was only 5. I come from a long line of only children and have helped propagate 2 more generations making a full 7 generations of only children on my dad’s side. None of us every once felt upset or bad about being the only one. Yep, we were teased about being spoiled but really if that’s the worst that happens to any of us we are pretty lucky. I’m sorry you and your husband cannot have more childrren that you want but ask your son if he feels left out or lonely. Bet he says no to both!

  2. Pingback: You don’t know what it’s like: tip of hat to Kerri | zestoflittlerock

  3. Kerri, I am sorry it hurts. I really am. My plan was to have at least a dozen children. I had one. When my friends were lucky enough to have more children I felt “the twinge.” It can be hard but now my son is 36. I am 56. He has done pretty well for being brought up as an only child(he has some other siblings but wasn’t reared with them). I honestly think he liked being the center of my world. I would suspect your son will feel the same way.

    Just think how much more of yourself you can give your son without having to “split” your attention. I personally think that is a gift. Of course, that is in retrospect. I don’t know that I felt that way when my heart was longing for a big brood of children to love, nurture and spoil. It is all a process. Again, I am sorry that for right now it hurts to not be able to have more children.

  4. I was an only child. A happy one. I had three kids of my own. The absolute hardest part of it for me is the sibling rivalry and dislike of one another. I photograph families where the siblings have a happy banter and are affectionate and I’m standing there jaw on ground thinking “What in the HELL did they do differently?” And then I have my mother (who speaks to none of her siblings) constantly judging me because mine argue and fight often and sometimes, if I’m being 100% honest, I’m completely envious of my friends who stopped with one.

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