Childlessness. Child less ness. A state of being childless. Childless, is, in itself, a state. Ergo, childlessness is in fact a state2. This might make it many things! Perhaps it's a metastate! Or even an uberState! Heaven forfend, it might even be an antistate if in fact two wrongs make a right.

The vote is still out on whether or not it's a good thing. A swiftly-overloading Apache process will tell you unequivocally that it completely sucks /dev/null. A well-off bachelor with an Exotic car might tell you it's the best thing going. Don't even try asking women, whether they are in the metastate or not; they might kick you out of state. It's a hormonal thing.

Why, then, does Webster1913 have this def. in here? Is Webby, perhaps, feeling lonely? Does it long for a child of its very own? Perhaps we might allow it to adopt that unwanted abortion of a dictionary that Microsoft will be putting out. Or perhaps it would rather not. Now, if offered a comparison between that small onetm and, say, the brand-spanking-new edition of the OED, then maybe the state of childlessness would be hard to hold on to.

Maybe we could drum up more interest with more interesting words. I like nulliparous and oviparous myself, although they really only describe women. Perhaps they might be loaned to describe this state, which suffers from a slightly recursive nom de guerre.

Then again, I sometimes consider my beer my child. And, good heavens, I'm in a state of childlessness. Over to you.

The house did not have a nursery and the upstairs bedroom was never decorated. There were magazine and swatches, hidden under the bed and often there had been trips to stores for imaginary shower gifts. There were books on children's names, but they were low on the stacks of paperbacks beside the couch and would not be seen, by most.

The pain that was there, was not talked about and if you had not known the cause you would have imagined some unnamed family tragedy or a marital dispute. Subdued tones and awkward silences were always served with dessert in their home and it was hard to find any words to carry it through those moments. If we had any kids of our own I doubt we would have been invited over at all.

When she was alone, with Sara, she would speak about the procedures and the frustration, and the money. But in front of us, there was only that feeling. A feeling of loss, a feeling of resentment and anger toward a God that had let them down. I wondered why their faith was being tested in this way.

I imagined Noah wouldn't have worked so hard if he had no children of his own to save.

Folks usually get married with the idea of having kids. That's really the purpose of marriage, from a societal standpoint. Propagation of the species, and all that bloody rot. But you will find many married couples who never have any children. Why is that? .

Well, some find out they cannot have children, due to biological problems. These folks tend to try some sort of New World Order birth method, or they adopt. This usually solves the problem.

Some go into marriage with the idea that this is not a good idea for them or for the planet or for the potential child, whatever. They are probably among the happier childless couples. The other side is not a pretty sight.

It's this other group that I've always wondered about. And I know several folks in this situation. They get married without a real clear understanding of the "kid deal." They just assume that when it comes up, everything will work out OK. Unfortunately, life does not always work out like this.

Arguments arise over petty matters. Feelings are hurt. Money becomes a big subject of discussion. Sex is withheld in spite. They make up, but as time goes on, the idea of kids just gets to be an item that is no longer discussed. It's like the unseen monster that hangs somewhere over the mantle and the dining table and the bed.

They grow older, the biological clock timer goes off, Ding, and there you have it. No legacy, when everything in their bodies and in their minds was saying, "You better do this NOW!" The disappointment draws a strange sort of wrinkle in their faces as they work their way toward death,

alone

together.

I went to the grave today,
such an odd thing, bright sun about,
birds singing beyond sight,
and here am I, to mourn and not play.
I wish to run among these silent markers,
feel the grass cool between my feet,
seeking playful prey amidst the stones,
not knowing the pain resting beneath.
I ran my hand across the name,
closed my eyes against the light,
traveled back to a time when this name had meaning,
animation...life...
We ran together, you and I,
cutting long sloping turns in winter's grip,
joking about nothing,
living for the mere next moment.
Skidding through turns in summer,
tires humming on dirt,
watching life from nowhere,
climbing to find our souls, and failing,
in moments never lived.
Seeing the face I knew in life,
cast in the pallor of death,
I ask of the silent ground, why?
Why does end it this way?
Why mere feet from where I stand now?
I'll miss this simple soul,
another casualty of this blackened life,
yet another face to haunt my sleep,
remind me of my own mortality in the quiet moments.
I would have gone,
in your stead,
just for another moment,
but it never was my choice to make.
None of us never really knew,
who you were.
This still doesn't change,
the hollow.

original prose, Yurei, 2000

Child"less*ness, n.

The state of being childless.

 

© Webster 1913.

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