I married late in life but I never had a burning desire to have children. I always assumed I would have them but I wasn’t in any hurry. I loved being around other people’s children and I especially liked doing the children’s time at church. I remember when I first started doing it, I worried about it which I seem to do about everything that I do for the first time.
My TBI happened three months after my marriage. I was in an induced coma in one hospital while Michael was in another. The other Associate Pastor of the church I served put a notebook in the waiting room for people to sign when they came to visit. I wasn’t allowed any visits and this was a way for folks to respond to my accident. I treasure this notebook today and I appreciate seeing the notes from the many people who visited. I must say, I am surprised at the various folks who came to the hospital. Perhaps I’ll write a post about that time but today I want to write a little about children.
I can’t imagine having children when I was injured. I was sensitive to noise (I still am but it is much better) and the thought of having children playing in the house when I was trying to recover, is unbearable to me. Many brain injury survivors have children and I can’t imagine the challenges. I never even thought about adding children to the mix.
I think often folks have a desire to leave part of themselves behind when they die. Having children is one way to do this. I do feel a sense of loss at not having children but I’ll have to leave a sense of myself behind in other ways. I do believe that too often, folks use children to give them a sense of self and I imagine this is a challenge for people who do have children.
At Grace Covenant years ago, I volunteered to help in one of the children’s classes for two weeks. It wasn’t any more chaotic than any other children’s‘ class but I just couldn’t take the stimulation. At Circle of Mercy, the children leave worship to play during the sermon. Volunteers help the paid sitter then and I might try it once to see if I can do it. It would be a way to be around a small group of children which may be okay for me. It’s another example of trying something to see if it works since having a TBI requires flexibility.
How are you around children after having a TBI? Do you have any children? Feel free to comment here (commenting instructions are above right) but feel free t0 comment directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’m unable to respond to your comment here due to technical difficulties but I read every one.