An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Experiences You Wanted with Your Children

DH and I have been doing quite well lately adjusting to living childfree.  We had an experience a couple of weeks ago that caused us to think about experiences we wanted to have with our children that we will not have, because we don't have children.

As a pianist, I always dreamed about having a child who also loved playing the piano.  We would play duets together, play and sing together, and perform together.  This was an experience I wanted to have with my children.  While I don't have my own children, I have performed piano duets with two of my nieces at recitals, played piano duets for fun with two other nieces, and played and sang around the piano with most of my nieces and nephews.  It hasn't been a regular occurrence in our home, but I still had the experience.

DH is a fly fisherman.  He finds a lot of enjoyment and peace from spending time on the river.  He would have liked to take his child fishing, just like he spent time with his dad fishing.  One of our nephews expressed interest in fishing, so DH has taught him over the last five years.  These two go fishing together at least twice a month.

A couple of weeks ago, we figured out that DH's sister was trying to give us an experience she thought we should have.  DH's nephew has received a mission call and was going to the temple for the first time.  On the first time to the temple, the person has an escort.  He asked DH to be one of his escorts.  When we were at the temple waiting, the temple worker told DH's BIL that it is not usual to have two escorts (DH and BIL, the nephew's dad).  BIL explained that DH couldn't have kids and that he wanted DH to have the experience of being an escort at the temple.  BIL said that DH could be the escort if there could only be one.   The temple president granted permission for two escorts.

Afterward, DH and I talked about how this was really his sister projecting the experiences she would have missed if she couldn't have children.  She could have called and said, "We recognize you won't have the experience of being a temple escort to your own children, would you like to escort your nephew?"  Instead, they just assumed we were missing out on this experience.

As DH and I talked, temple escort wasn't one of the experiences we were concerned about missing.  I mentioned a couple above.  DH said that last summer, one of the guys at his work was expecting a baby.  Someone asked how his wife was doing and when the baby was due.  DH said he was never going to experience the expectancy, and he was sad about that.

I didn't realize I wanted the experience of taking children to see Christmas lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, but I really enjoyed doing so this week with my nieces and nephew who live out of state and were in town for Christmas.  We went to dinner then walked around all of the lights, nativities, and buildings to see the decorations.  The kids were in awe!

What experiences did you want to have with your own children that you won't have, that you have had with other people's children, or that someone thought you should have?