Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Hunger for a Child

I don't know Jenny Rough. But I've slowly come to know her splendid, heartfelt writing through the odd, but distinctly collegial ethos that comes from long-time blog writing. We have a mutual friend with yet another blog (she's another woman I've never met, but one that I've at least shared several emails with, and since she happens to live in the same city as me, we just might meet eventually). And Jenny, probably following a link from my comment left on Michelle's blog, once left a comment here. So in the spirit of symmetry, I decided to check out her blog and read a little of what she had to say. I gather from her autobio that she's a California native who now lives in the D.C. area, and a former lawyer who left the law behind to write. It's immediately apparent that she's a fine writer. Still, none of that prepared me for this entry about her attempts to get pregnant. The final line left me a little staggered. Good luck, Jenny.


At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jeanne said...


My best friend's mother could not have children. She adopted a boy and a girl and later in life adopted one more child who she saved from a very toxic family situation.

Let's just say that as the oldest of nine children, I envied my girlfriend's status because she had been chosen, that is how her mother described it.

Nurturing can be done in many ways, not every couple is meant to reproduce but everyone can have children.

I understand the appeal of having your own biological child but the reality to me is that the bond between parent and child comes from nurturing and giving.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mama’s on her way, my love."

At the risk of incurring wrathful brickbats for insensitivity, isn't this projecting one's own distress onto a non-existent being? The anti-abortion sob story, "Diary of an Unborn Child", did much the same.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

I met Jenny at a writing workshop a couple of years back. She's a great writer and a wonderful friend.

Im my opinion she is already a mother, having lost her first pregnancy last year. She's written a beautiful piece about it here:

How she feels about her future children is her own business.

I'm decidedly pro-stay out of everyone else's business. Be it abortion or daydreaming about a child that's yet to be.

Though of course there are certain topics that get me all Rileyed up too.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Thanks for your kind words and best wishes, John! It means a lot.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

P.S. I'm an Ohio native - near Cleveland :-)

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Mr.galle said...

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At 10:17 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Jenny, thanks for visiting. I did note that you and your husband are Miami of Ohio grads, so I should have known you had some Ohio roots. We'll proudly claim you as our own, part of the Northeast Ohio writing diaspora. And Michelle, thanks for that link to the piece in Mothering. I'll read it with interest.

As for some of the comments above, I agree that when it comes to the parenthood urge, I don't make any choices for anyone else. We all deal with that most primal of human needs in our own way, and it seems crazy to me to try to make choices for others.

Anyway, thank you all for visiting and joining the conversation. And here's hoping we get to meet some day, Jenny. I think a writing seminar would be the best place of all.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I like that idea (meeting at a writing seminar). See you then.


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