I fell in love with Julia Child after I read her biography, My Life In France. She had so much spunk and gumption! Although the descriptions of the meals she ate in France made me salivate, my favorite stories she told were about her and her husband Paul. They were hopeless romantics and so perfect for each other.
Though not a major storyline, Julia mentions a few times that they were unable to have children. I’m not sure they ever went to the doctor (this was in the 1950s so the options for treatment would have been minimal at best) but it’s presumed that the reason for this was because Julia was in her late 30s when they were married and therefore not in her peak child-bearing years.
Julia describes feeling lost about what she should do. While reading this, my heart broke a bit. Thinking about her dealing with this at a time when what was expected of women was to get married and have children, I can’t imagine how much despair she felt. Of course we know what success was waiting for her, but she does describe that she struggled for years before she was able to find her passion in cooking. I believe that that longing for a child probably never left her, it just faded as the years passed.
Does this sound familiar to any of you? Although societal pressures to have children aren’t as much as they were in the 50s, I still believe they exist and it is still difficult for women who are infertile or for another reason, don’t have the opportunity to have children. Some of us will eventually be blessed with what we so long for, some will find their passion and channel that energy somewhere else, some will be at complete peace with the fact and some will always feel something is missing. Or maybe it will be a combination of those things. Whatever it is, know that it is difficult. Know that other women have gone through it and continue to. And know that just because you’ve never given birth to a child, that doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Julia certainly retained her spunk and livelihood.