This is for my friend, Joanna. I began writing a comment to her post this morning and it started to get really long. So instead of hijacking her comment thread with my ramblings, I decided to just publish a post. (It’s about damn time I publish something! Maybe this will revive my dead blog.) So, Joanna, this is my comment to your post this morning.
As you know, Caleb and I will never have children not because of biology conspiring against us but because we have chosen not to be parents. We both came to this decision before we even met, so it has never been an issue in our relationship. When I was 38, I was still on the fence … so much so that I had an account with a donor bank so I could peruse potential baby daddies. I also had taken informal applications of several male friends who had offered their “services.” This was not as creepy as it sounds. Really, it wasn’t. No, really. Fast forward five years later and after hearing a couple of child-rearing nightmarish rants from two of my friends yesterday, I said to Caleb just this morning (and I’m not even kidding), “I’m glad it’s just you and me and we’re not worried if we’re raising future serial killers.” His reply was, “I’m glad I can give all my love just to you.” (I neglected to mentioned our kitten-children, but I know he loves them too.) Parenting is for some and not for others. I, like you, love the way my life is now with the freedom and the “me time.” I cannot imagine having a child now. And I’m OK with this. There was a reason five years ago that I didn’t pick that donor who was 6’2″, green eyes, no history of heart disease or diabetes, and loved the outdoors. There was a reason I never took those dudes up on their (ahem) selfless offers. I knew deep down that being a parent wasn’t for me. Every now and then, do I look at a cute little kid and think what mine would’ve looked like or think about how blindingly brilliant and adorably handsome he would be? Sure. Absolutely. But then he throws himself down on the floor and screams that he hates his mother because she never buys him anything all while holding the latest iPad, I think that I’m good right where I am. I do a couple of things pretty well, but I don’t think parenting would’ve been one. I applaud and marvel at those who parent and do it well. To those who have failed (yes, people do fail at parenting) and have raised little demons who grow into adults who are rude, insensitive, selfish, thoughtless, and lacking compassion, I say that maybe they should’ve really considered and given deep, serious thought if that lifelong commitment was something they really, really, truly wanted to take on or if they had children just because that was expected of them or they thought that was the next step after marriage. Thank goodness we have the choice of whether or not to be parents. I wish more people exercised that choice. There might be less abuse and neglect of the world’s precious future.