A child was born, we celebrated.
Earlier today a saw a photograph of a man who was burned alive in South Africa because he was a foreigner. On the day his mother gave birth to him people celebrated. Why? Because a life that had the potential to end so tragically had just started? Or because a man and a woman could now proudly answer that elite title – parents? They had, praise the Lord, dodged the stigma of childlessness and now, hallelujah, had an additional feather in their cap. And if this new life had just been introduced into a world so broken that he would one day experience the unfathomable fear and anguish of being burned alive by animals who wear his skin, so be it. At least, his parents did not die childless.
The other day I read the story of a woman who had a child at 65. We were told she had been trying for well over 30 years. There were over a thousand comments below her photo, most of them saying “Thank God for you, ma” and “God answers prayers”. But let’s do a little math. That child will be 10 years old with a 75 year old mother. Even mothers in their prime find it tiring raising a child properly so where is this boy to get his discipline? But no, we do not think of that, we celebrate, because finally this woman has dropped the label of ‘bareness’. And if this child becomes an orphan before he is 20 with no siblings to lean on, who cares? At least his parents did not die childless.
But then when a woman decides not to have children for reasons of her own the world works up the nerve to call her selfish. Bloody hypocrites.