My grandmother once said to my mum, when she became a mother herself, that having a child is like having your heart walking around on the outside. From that point on, the most important part of you is outside you.
If I'm honest, which any of the regular readers will know is pretty much all the time, I can work myself into a state of anxious tears worrying about my sweet daughter, who I am convinced is the single most beautiful girl ever to have been born in the whole wide world. Ever.
I worry about her future - will she be bullied at school? Will she be good at school? Will she find direction and purpose in life? Will she have her heart broken? Will she find love? Will she be able to have children of her own? How will I manage to keep my words and limbs in check if someone dares hurt her? God knows I'm a fierce mumma bear sometimes, but I am also wise enough to know that I can't and won't fight all her battles. But Lordy that's going to be hard!
I worry about her health - so many children get cancer these days before they've even had a chance to stuff themselves up with bad food and chemical-ridden products over the decades, will she be one of them? Will I lose her before she has a chance to lose me to old age?
And when I think about having more children, I look at the state of the world - 7 BILLION people. So many wars. So many starving, while so many have bulging fridges and pantries and still throw away daily enough food to feed a second family. And how can the world possibly keep producing enough food to feed all these people? Chemicals are everywhere in our food because we can't produce it on a big enough, more reliable scale without them, yet I'm convinced they're what's making us so sick. Food shouldn't have numbers in it! Since when could you find a tree and pick MSG (621), and the literally thousands of other numbers in our everyday food?
Then I listen to my heart. I want more children. I want a big family. I want to be pregnant again, to feel those kicks and nudges from the inside. I want to breastfeed again and to hear those beautiful gurgling noises and have a little baby fall asleep curled in a ball on my chest. Is that selfish when the world's in such a state and I'm not sure what kind of world they're going to have? Perhaps one of my children will "save the world", but the cynical side of me (which is often around at this late hour of the night) thinks "Greed will always win".
"Hec, we don't need that rainforest! What we need is to knock it all down to build more condos so I can buy a yacht and a fat gold watch and get the trophy wife a boob job!" "Whales? Who cares about the whales? I wanna get my hands on all that oil trapped under the ocean so I can fill up my enormous SUV that I never take off-road or use to drive more than just myself... because I'm big, fat, rich and important, don't you know!"
What future are we leaving our children? How can a little person make a difference when money is tight and your voice is small on a global scale? Hec, it's even small on a local scale! Shop local. Buy from the farmer. Read labels and don't buy what you don't understand. Make your own cleaning products. Use contraception if you don't want or aren't ready for children. Consider adopting or letting another loving couple raise your child if you can't - God knows there are children in the world who are already here who need love; and every child deserves the best life possible. And support other little voices, trying to do the best they can.
Rant over. Thanks for listening.