I never wanted any.
I’d had enough of changing diapers on younger sibs by the time I finished high school. I love kids, but I was going to college.
My family, especially the women, said it had more to do with my (lack of) looks than intelligence. They all worried that by the time I finished with college I would be past my Sell By date. They worried the mainspring on my biological clock would be rusted, and my hourglass figure would resemble more a weatherworn sundial.
I didn’t care. After college, I was off to see the world.
Las mujeres (the women) reminded me that a woman’s religious obligation was to marry and have a large, Catholic family. Religious? Half of them hadn’t stepped inside a church more than twice in their lifetimes, once for their baptisms, the second time for their weddings. Three times if they’d had a quinceañera.
I was going to live my life soltera (single) – no husband, no children, and no cat either.
Eighteen months after I graduated from college, while I was saving for grad school, I got engaged. I know, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
My fiancé wanted six children, and I still wanted a PhD. We compromised – two kids for a master’s degree. We even shook on it.
There was a collective sigh of relief from the women in my family. I was a little past my prime, but since I had finally gotten with the program, there was still time to oil up my gears and get them going once again.
Honestly, I have never regretted my children. I never wanted any, but raising mine into people I like and love has been my greatest achievement. The only tiny thing I would change. . . . Since I gave up Rio, Rome, and Madrid for them, I would have snuck the names of those cities into their given names somehow. Now that would have given las mujeres something to really talk about.