My children weren't planned.
Let me start again. NONE of my life as I know it was planned. I was supposed to get straight A's in languages/politics/pre-law, earn a full-ride scholarship toward an international law degree with an easily passed bar exam that I used as I got through my doctorate with innovative theories of boarder control so that by the time I was 35 I could live on a Ranch with a horse (maybe two), some dogs, and no need for fashion or material things.
In the world I grew up in, something like 9-11 could never happen, nor could horrible incidents like the high-school shootings. The closest reality I knew were revved up versions of after-school knife-fights only one murder less the death toll a-la West Side Story. Minimal carnage, specified racial fear. I could walk away from these horrid realities, be mildly effected, and keep moving forward on my plan like it was a TV show. I could move away from the cities that attracted attention, build hope in the third world, and end up in the suburbs that avoided it.
I would live a Ralph Lauren lifestyle with the Connecticut freedom of no commitment.
But it's not so simple. Having children, no matter how "prepared" or unprepared any parent is, the raising of children completely overrides any plans; take it or leave it. Kids find out whether or not they were planned, wanted, or the result of some sick plan of ding-dong-ditch for citizenship.
Through my floor, I've listened to those told spitefully that they were unwanted.
Through my students, I've seen those suffer through well-intended, overworked, sucked-by-life single parents. I've worked with coke-head pre-teens who know how unwanted they are for the simple fact that they practically sniff off of daddy's shoe to get a bit of his non-existant attention, or shave their wrists to catch lobotomized mommy's eye.
I've seen malnutrition in Haiti kill the children who died in the starvation of the nineties along with foot-long nipples attaching a something more akin to a feeding tube than breast years before she was raped by disastrous weather.
Our children can look into court documents when they become adults and find out a legal perspective that overrides everything they may have been told. They can learn why one parent chose not to stay with the other parent. They can come to their conclusion about what, "in their best interest" really means, and why anything that may have an effect on their protector easily overrides any option other than that they come, and have always come, first.
I have no problem with the fact that my children were un-expected. But I hope that they always know, that they never doubt for a second, that they are and have always been wanted, and even more importantly, that they will always be; have always been, loved.