John Edwards' former mistress could have done worse.
Woman on the Verge of Having Kids: First, let me make clear that I am not celebrating extramarital affairs. And I do feel empathy for Elizabeth Edwards, former senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards' betrayed wife, who has been diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer.
But I confess to having an offbeat reaction to the ongoing story of John Edwards and his former mistress, Rielle Hunter: I am happy for Rielle that, as a single woman, she now has a beautiful baby, on her own terms.
Life is complicated. People fall in and out of love, "arrive" in their careers and personal lives at different times. But time and the tides wait for no man, and the biological clock waits for no woman.
Women have more choices than ever, including the choice to have a surrogate's eggs implanted if they want the experience of giving birth. But -- despite fantastical stories about movie stars giving birth in their late 40s and beyond -- the truth is that, if a woman wants her own biological child, the early 40s is pretty much do-or-die time.
Enter Rielle Hunter. Whatever one's views about the morality of her affair with Edwards, she found herself pregnant at age 43. She wanted a baby. And she went ahead and had Frances, her baby girl. Can anyone look at this beautiful child and call her a mistake? Or blame Rielle for wanting a baby whose father, whatever his imperfections, is smart, good-looking, and cares enough to try to provide for the child?
After all, compared to some of the chivalry-less, narcissistic, metrosexual men roaming the streets of major metropolitan areas these days, John Edwards doesn't even seem that bad!
People find themselves in all kinds of circumstances, and maybe what matters most is not whether the family structure is conventional, but whether one has the means -- financial and emotional -- to raise a healthy, wanted child.
Whatever Rielle's mistakes may have been, is it possible having Frances was her best decision?
|Woman on the Verge of Having Kids: She's single, in her 30s, and on a mission to outrun her biological clock.|