I always felt discounted by people with children before I actually had them myself. It was always, "Oh. You don't have children. That explains it", or "You'll never understand until you have children of your own." Talking with mothers about Anything Related to Children was off limits, although at the time I didn't really understand why.
I got my first insight the other day when Tucker and I were out to dinner with a work friend of mine. She wants to have children someday, but right now she's not ready. She loves Tucker, and despite his horrible drooling habit and tendency to regurgitate food without warning, she'll run the risk of holding him while wearing her Dry Clean Only dresses.
Tucker started rambling off, "Dada...Dada...Dada.." like he does when he's in a talkative mood. I looked over at my friend and expected to share that Oh How Cute He's Saying, "Dada" Look, and she looked back at me and said, "He doesn't even know what he's saying."
It was a dagger in my heart. But maybe she was right. Maybe he was just saying it because it's his first word and he can't say anything else. But it became crystal clear to me why I had been brushed off by mothers before. I must have said something equally hurtful or ignorant without even realizing it.
I didn't point out to her that she'd also magnify those little, tiny, insignificant moments once she's a mother - it's not my style. But it was one of those full-circle moments (thanks, Oprah) that made me just get it.
Anyone else have any similar experiences?