Life giving love

I have a sixteen-year-old daughter.  Last night, she was up late stapling definitions and charts and conclusion paragraphs to a tri-fold presentation board.  Science fair.  She does dishes each night, distracted every few minutes by the buzz of the iPhone in her pocket.  She practices driving on Sundays in hopes of passing her license test the very first time she attempts.  Today, she’ll come home after a half-day at school, accompanied by the sweet young man with whom she is Facebook official.

These are the days of her life.

When I was sixteen, I squatted over the backroom toilet in an ice cream shop where I worked after school.  The door was locked but a high window was open.  I stood holding that stick and waiting for pink lines to appear {or not} while–all the while– customers with deliberately raised voices ordered their butterscotch shakes and double bacon cheeseburgers through the drive through speaker just outside.  None the wiser that my life was about to veer so destructively off-course.  Or maybe back on.  It’s hard to say now.

I had the market cornered on lesses.  Reckless.  Clueless.  Heedless.  If less was more then I was in good shape.  My mom has since told me that she doubted me then.  Thirty-six years young when I made her a grandma, she was sure that she’d be the one raising the child I chose to carry.

I remember like it was yesterday, the afternoon I told her.  She was sitting on my daybed, the novelties of my then-life scattered around the room like shadows: my cheer uniform, the dried roses from prom, wallet-sized school pictures with x’s and o’s penned in mid-90’s bubble letters on back.  I’ll support whatever decision you make, she said.  And she would have.  I know.  But there was no choice, really.  Not for me.

The product of that pregnancy is nineteen now.  Right from the start I took a no-holds-barred approach when it came to the facts of bodies and parts–how they work and fit together.  How they produce and create.  Always I’ve shared my beliefs on the rights and the wrongs of accidental pregnancies, and always I’ve noticed with sadness that she was noncommittal in agreeing.  I always suspected that she didn’t share my life view, but I didn’t ever want to pry into that private space of hers with questions.  It’s nagged at me so much that more than once I’ve dreamed that she was pregnant and choosing to end the life within.  In those dreams, I’m the perfect opposite to my mom’s open-ended support; I beg and plead and do everything I can to spare the unborn life.  I’m always so grateful to wake up from the heart wrench.

It might surprise you to know that when it comes to politics, I’m pro-choice.  I don’t think the government has any place legalizing medical decisions for any individual.  Here’s the catch: I’m pro-life in that I wish every single woman who has been blessed with a life would choose to pay it forward.  Not because she has to, but because she simply can’t fathom any other way.  I’m pro-life-giving-love, I guess.

All this to tell you that just yesterday, I lived out one of my most proud moments as a mom.  That same nineteen-year-old flesh of my flesh was standing over my shoulder when someone on TV talked about having an abortion.  I just don’t understand how anyone could do that, she said.

I don’t know if this stance of hers reflects a change in views or not.  All I know is that somewhere along the way, she formed an opinion.  A life-giving love opinion.

I’ll sleep easier knowing.

5 Replies to “Life giving love”

  1. “I don’t think the government has any place legalizing medical decisions for any individual.” I don’t think that I understand where you are coming from here. The mother is killing another human being. The government has a right to tell people that they can’t kill other people. Abortion is just what you say that you don’t like: the government legalizing the death of an individual. That individual may be small, but it isn’t any less of a person just because it is inside someone else. It has rights, too. Anyways, I do enjoy your blog, and I am glad that you and your daughter do both agree that life is the best option for people.

    1. I completely see your point, Laura. I really do. In all honesty, I’m torn. On one hand, I don’t think that people should be permitted to abort a baby just because it has a genetic defect. But on the other hand, I really don’t like the government telling people what to do with their bodies. It’s tricky for me when one person’s rights interfere with another person’s rights. For me, it probably comes down to being 50.01% pro-choice and 49.99% pro-life. Like I said, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to make abortion illegal because nobody would choose to kill her own unborn child. Abortion would never be my choice, and I would always always always plead for an unborn life, given the opportunity. But I guess I lean slightly left on this one because I really think that less government is better government. Know this, though. I would happily stand beside you on a picket line with a sign that read: Please choose life.

  2. Darcie, I really enjoy reading your thoughtful and entertaining blog posts. Just recently, I was telling my husband how much I appreciate “The Art of Mom-ing” because it describes so well what I do for my family as a stay at home mom. I also have a down syndrome brother, so your posts about your daughter with downs really strike a chord in me.

    This recent post made me happy and sad. I’m happy you and your daughter recognize the ugliness of abortion. I’m sad that you’d still consider it okay for our government to legalize it. “I don’t think the government has any place legalizing medical decisions for any individual.” Maybe I misunderstand what you’re saying. I couldn’t fall asleep last night thinking about it, trying to understand this train of thought.

    Prove to me that people are not committing a grave crime through abortion, and what you’ve said is okay. I firmly believe, however, that each act of abortion kills a unique human being with an immortal soul. It’s the duty of a government to protect its citizens and uphold morals. If that means forbidding procedures that allow big people to hurt little people, then so be it.

    Do you really support our government’s legal sanction of the murder of its smallest, and most vulnerable, citizens?

    Please re-consider your stance. You’ll be in my prayers:)

    1. I see and almost agree with your points, Molly. And I really appreciate the thoughtful approach of your comment. In particular, this line, “I firmly believe, however, that each act of abortion kills a unique human being with an immortal soul,” strikes me. You speak truth and I agree with you 100% on that. I don’t agree, however, that our government has any place upholding morals. I just think that’s too slippery a slope to go down. It’s tempting in this situation because you and I can agree that abortion is wrong, and if the government sided with us, the immortal souls of those unborn babies would have a chance at life. But what happens, then, when the scales shift and we find ourselves on the opposite side of what the government deems moralistic? It has to work both ways. And that is why I specify that when it comes to politics, I believe that women should not be legally bound to sustain life within their bodies. I would pray, though, that they would choose to do precisely that.

  3. Darcie, thank you for your kind response. I’m curious what you consider to be the purpose of government. Would you say that even in its simplest form, the laws of a government exist to uphold the common good? To me, the common good starts with some pretty basic principals, and they were outlined right off the bat by our Founding Fathers: “”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” If the government doesn’t protect that first big “L”, there’s nothing to protect. A slippery slope you say? Killing children is wrong. Period.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions and the government needs to encourage them, not by legalizing immoral procedures that provide an easy way out, but by upholding basic principles through its laws.

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