Saturday, November 18, 2017 23:04

35

I haven’t always been in the anti-child camp. When I was younger, I assumed I would eventually have a family that included children. There was a brief time, before I met my husband, where I thought I wouldn’t get married and instead have “gentlemen friends.” During that time, children didn’t factor in because it’s a lot harder to have “gentlemen friends” when you are a single lady with babies. However, when I met G, I knew we were gonna get married and that idea went out the window. Like having babies, having a husband makes the whole “gentlemen friends” situation difficult if not impossible. I was fine with that, though. I was sure we would have plenty of adventures together.

When we got married, we both wanted kids. However, not immediately. I said ten years, and G said before he was thirty. My quote of ten years held strong, even though the years would advance and I wouldn’t subtract them from my timeline. G would still say, “before I’m thirty.” However, when thirty was approaching for him, he wasn’t quite ready and was willing to wait a little longer. I was totally okay with that, since my original ten year quote still put me in my thirties before we would be considering a bun in the oven.

Then a curious thing happened. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “biological clock,” a so-called phenomenon in which a woman’s body starts desiring a fetus because it senses the expiration date approaching on her eggs. The thing is, mine started working in reverse. As the years ticked by, and my age advance, I wanted a little rugrat less and less. Those tiny onesies and booties in all the shops stopped looking appealing and looked more like a sentence. As my friends and family around me popped out more and more little ones, it became harder to be happier for them because I knew that it would become more of a barrier between us. Now, it is easier for me to keep track of the few of my friends who don’t have children, than keep track of all the babies.

As those around me have built families of the two legged variety, I thought maybe I was going through a phase. Like, babies are gross right now, but I would change my mind. Certainly our society, that deems that women should pop out all the babies since they have the right equipment, likes to tell me so. If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “It’s different when it’s yours,” or, “You’ll change your mind,” I would never have to worry about money again. Hmmm, maybe I should start asking for nickels from those who say that to me. I could definitely take nicer vacations. Anyway, I thought maybe it was a phase. While having the old lady business shut down seemed appealing, it seemed like a very final choice if I was just going through a phase. It would kind of suck if it turned out that all those people were right, and there was nothing I could do about it.

In fact, I thought perhaps that once I turned 35, the urge would hit me. Not that there is a magic number, but I’ve always thought that 35-38 would be a great age to have kids. Old enough to have been able to have adventures, young enough to still have the ingredients on hand. I thought that maybe my biological clock would kick in, and some baby-making would commence. I figured it would shock the hell out of everyone around me should I have an announcement to make, and I knew for sure there would be some, “I told you so”s. I figured that wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I’d figured out that while it is a genetic crapshoot, I could probably manage to parent such that ours wouldn’t be one of the demon spawn that I constantly see that make me rage and shoot laser daggers from my eyes. If the kid was ugly, we could figure something out. After all, not everyone can be pretty. We could just dress it in costumes and tell strangers it’s a mask, and admit to our friends that we lost the genetic crapshoot. We could probably still love it? Right?

The thing is, there isn’t a guarantee. We were on vacation for the last week, spending one day in a very well known, family friendly, theme park. All the parents and the children made me stabby. It made me think about our vacation and how having one of those little poop monsters would effect it. We wouldn’t be able to ride Space Mountain together, unless one of the park employees, excuse me, cast members would hold our little spawn while we did so. Or if there was some sort of stroller with baby parking area outside, kind of like some places in Europe have. There would be passing off. We couldn’t stay until they kicked us out, unless we wanted to be “those people” who are still pushing their over tired toddler around the park, while the child practices for becoming a banshee later in life. It would be more difficult to go for a late night cocktail, or have a cheesy pretzel for dinner. For the other parts of our vacation, we might not get to sit and listen about developments of our favorite game or learn how to build an insane costume replicating a character from said game. Even if we could, I suspect building said costume would be problematic. Tiny thermoplastic pellets and a heat gun aren’t exactly child-friendly.

Thinking about all of this, I thought to myself, “Maybe it will change when I’m 35.” Then, I realized that I already am 35. It’s already hit, even though the reality hadn’t set in. It seems that the desire to have a baby is still not there. I don’t feel any softer toward the little beasties I see running about.

Instead, I feel more content with my lifestyle. I feel more desire to put my energy and focus on me and my dreams. I still have a lot of years ahead of me, and I haven’t really cracked what I, personally, am capable of. I’ve only just figured out what I want to be when I grow up, and what I want to accomplish. I don’t want anything to get in the way of that, or to feel guilty for being selfish. I’m only finally getting to be remotely “grown up.” I would rather just enjoy that, with my husband, and our cats and rat. Focus our time and energy on being more awesome. Most of all, when we hear that kid start their banshee howl, we can just continue to walk away.

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