THE HOPE THAT SURPRISED ME

FOR MOST of my adult life I had not thought that I wanted to have children. Life with my husband seemed satisfying and complete, my work as a professional musician was absorbing and enjoyable, and we took pleasure in our friends and travel.

Then after ten years of marriage, I found myself gazing out an airplane window at a magnificent sunset and weeping at the thought that I would never have a child to share life with. This was a very new thought for me. So new, that I thought there must be some mistake—maybe it was because we were flying home from my mother-in-law's funeral, where having been together with family had been so comforting. Or maybe it was the Amy Tan novel about mothers and daughters I had been reading on the plane.

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