I had my children later in life after years of looking for love and happiness in all the wrong places. Back then, the doors of the world were all open to me. I was unencumbered and popular because of my lack of infant burdens. Men everywhere flocked to my side as images of single, childless women dancing and frolicking on beaches portrayed my solitary lifestyle as the ultimate and one to be envied.
But something was wrong. I did not feel like the women in the magazines. Instead, I felt empty and lonely much of the time and the men I was attracting seemed like hollow shells. There had to be something better than this.
Then my biological clock started to tick louder and louder until all I could feel were enormous bongs. My body had decided that it wanted children and began working on the project without bothering to consult with my brain. And once the little ones started to arrive, I came to fully understand and believe in the amazing power of following your heart to happiness in spite of what your mind may have to say about it.
Yes, little ones are a challenge to take care of, and there is much that one must give up for them, but they are completely worth the effort and give so much in return.
Prior to having my children, I do not recall feeling grateful about much. Now, every day is filled with an endless train of amazing experiences. As I help and support them with learning about life, my own eyes and soul are opening to the endless possibilities of this human experience. Pre-children, my life and expectations were limited to the seemingly two-dimensional world of advertising. The real depth of living was missing.
I think that the true meaning of life can only be found through profound giving and sharing. While some special souls like Mother Teresa and the Dahli Lama may be able to tap into this spiritual fountain through their missions, the act of creating and supporting life through raising kids makes these experiences more universally available to lesser-evolved humans like me.
We are all here to learn about the power of love, and children are our greatest teachers. At some level, we all know this, but since there is no way to make money off the process, the idea has not been promoted through the mainstream media.
Colonizing nations that sought to take over Canada were well aware of the power and importance of our offspring. That is why they removed aboriginal kids to residential schools. They knew that without children, native communities and culture would wither and die.
Interestingly, now that I am a single mom, the flocks of hollow men I use to attract are no longer interested. For this, I am truly grateful, since I only want to connect with people who are able to understand the value and importance of kids and live in gratitude for the joy and fulfillment they bring. We all need children because they give us love, peace, joy, happiness and laughter, and they create community and a life to be grateful for.
Kathleen Westergaard’s spiritual journey has taken her home to Village Island, Haida Gwaii and Campbell River. As the mother of James Aul Sewid’s great grand children, she has had the privilege of living and learning in the Kwakwaka’wakw culture for many years and is looking forward to many more.