I don’t mean to make anyone here feel real stupid or anything but I’m a certified college graduate. That’s right, I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology so I know a hella lot about human development. I’m more than a little proud to say that I took no less than FOUR courses on Human Development and I don’t know what the cutoff is until you become an expert in developing humans, but I’m pretty sure that I’m close.
One of my more memorable classes was a child development course I took at Columbus State Community College. It was exciting all right, being the lone 30 year old student surrounded by the least interesting group of late teenage kids ever assembled. Whatever, I had a Pell Grant and could buy my own beer! The first day of class, our instructor had all of the students go around the room and tell the class why they believe that their parents had them. Our answers were adorable:
“my mom always wanted kids”
“my parents didn’t want to raise my older brother without a sibling”
“They were lonely…” (Seriously, someone said that. Out loud even.)
“Did you ever think,” my savvy instructor said “that your parents had no plan in the first place?”
Turns out that most of my classmates had not, in fact, considered that they were never planned. As if people all over the world are doing the nasty tonight and screaming “put a baby in me!!” Who knows, some of you hipsters like banjo music so anything is possible, I suppose. Back in my day we had sex because we liked it.
Now, I know that there are lots of people out there who are spending a lot of time and money into trying to have kids and my heart goes out to them but I never tried to have kids. That’s why I’m so damn confused by the latest New York Magazine article that implies baby making is like deciding which jaunty font to use for your work e-mail signature.
Have kids, don’t have kids. You won’t get a medal either way. How much control do you think we have of this stuff anyway? I ask you, Ann Freidman of New York Magazine, don’t you remember Jeff Goldblum’s cool speech in Jurassic Park?
All children should be unwanted in the same way mine were. I was pregnant while still young enough to never have had a real dream of motherhood so I didn’t have unrealistic expectations and old enough to know that I had better not fuck this up so I read a shitload about babies. I was still a pretty half assed young mother but at least I had a well used library card and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions.
I am forever grateful that I downed a bottle of vodka and wasn’t on the pill one particular September evening in 1993 because I love my kids. Their start in life was a little bohemian and probably a little distasteful to some sensabilities. Some of you fine people have your life together and have all of the cash, appropriate digs and a supportive partner necessary for well-bred humans and good for you! I hope that your underwater birth provides you with the vegan sprog of your dreams. The rest of us on this planet marvel at your ability to control everything.
Your or my decision to breed is probably not going to change the course of history. But, if you want to have a baby because you think it might be cool or if you’re suddenly pregnant and not completely convinced that you will either end up becoming or raising a serial killer, ok then. So continue with your pregnancy or don’t but the idea that you can have a blissful life because of one or another variable needs to be aborted, like now.