Saturday, March 19, 2005

Oh procreation...why dost thou taunt me so?

Childbirth (and many aspects of child-rearing) make me really suspicious about there being a God. I mean, I was already suspicious thanks to the hippie-colored childhood of mine, with the I-Ching and astrology taking the place of any Holy Ghost or Baby Jesus...but anything that requires the female to give up nine months of her bodily comfort, then another 1-2 years of her identity/autonomy/sleep to only partly assure that her offspring does not grow up to take her to therapy, well, that can't be the act of does however make me lean more toward the idea of Satan.

We just spent a few hours with our very sweet niece. She's a good child. I mean it. Two and a half, happy, adjusted, a normal, sweet kid (Erik's genes). If I could put in an order for one of those I'd be really more inclined to do it. And maybe you can. Maybe the recipe really is in the holding environment, in the containment as the psychologists say...

But shit...why does it scare me so? Not the part about being responsible for another life, not even the childbirth part (okay, a little), but the part about how you keep (or dont') your own identity and still raise a healthy human being who is grateful you were their parent. Erik is actually much more disposed to parenthood. He's great with kids, he understands their psychology due to his training, and they love him. They flock to him like I've never seen. Me...well, i get tired, bored, irritated more easily. To me, they're just little people, and I don't like all people...fortunately most of the kids I know I like, and most of my friends are great parents who surprise me (and themselves) with how much they are capable of giving and doing...But yikes. See, I'm thirty, which isn't old, and there's still plenty of time for me...but the longer you wait, the easier it is to keep waiting. The more you think rationally about not having kids, the better the argument sounds for not having them. Think of all the money, time and resources you save! Think of all the quiet dinners and movies out you can have. Think of all the comfort of having control over your life...

What happens if you don't have kids? Do you regret it? I don't know.

See all I write about, over and over again, are adult children and their parents coming to terms with the past (and occasionally dealing with the present). I don't intend to write this story over and over again, but I compels me, and I think the reason is that my childhood was so bereft of parents behaving as parents should. It has literally given me a preoccupation with trying to reconcile how these kinds of things happen...I really don't write about lovers nor about death, nor about chance encounters or siblings. I write about parents and their children...I write about how it went wrong or could go wrong, and how they are fumbling and bumbling to get it right again.

So...who knows when and how the answer of whether or not I should procreate will be answered. I won't leave it up to God, that much I know for sure. Not the same jerk who supposedly put me in this position in the first place...



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