Thursday, October 30, 2008

A quick thanks to my mom

Without getting into it, I'm a little tired of hearing people tell me how much I apparently want kids. My poor repressed subconcious must be absolutely dying without a little squishy baby around but I, of course, am too callous and insensitive to hear this so others must be picking up on that vibration. Sigh. Ok, yes, we probably wouldn't mess up the kid too badly. We might even be good parents. I think you'd be a great doggie parent. Your point? Are we so low on people in this world that we need another?

I try to take it as a compliment, I really do. It beats people saying "by all that's holy, no kids, promise me!!" But... yeah. It seems like every conversation with the in-laws contains "when you have kids" ... not if. When. Because kids happen.

Good friends are mixed - some (surprisingly, mostly parents) are fine it and don't get why it would ever be an issue. Others have professed neutrality but then either ask excitedly about babies or, in the case of one, go on a lecture about how kids are special gifts designed to bring us to full maturity and selflessness. Ok, yes, they can teach you that but lots of things can. The vast majority of canonized saints, even those noted for their selflessness, were childless. Name notable mature, selfless people and notice that many of them don't have kids. And for heavens sakes, don't put yourself up on some romantic pedestal just because you want them. Admit that you like the idea of a cute, crazy little kid in your life and enjoy it. No shame in that. Kids are wonderful and challenging and a massive, massive responsibility. And?

So anyway, this goes out to my mom who's never, ever pressured me about this. Who has said that while she wouldn't mind trying on the grandma hat, actually prefers grandmothering the little 5-year-olds at her school. Who thinks I'm a great person no matter what I'm doing and is super-supportive whether I decide to have kids or not. Who's actually joined in on the "what's the big deal" rant with me and confessed that if she hears one more of her friends get stuck on the topic of grandkids she's going to ram the photo album down their throat. Or pull out her album of 30 little kindergardeners and start going on about each and every one. I've got a great mom. :)

And, in fairness, my little brother finally came around to the realization my morality is not tied in with my childbearing and has, since, decided that I get to be "that" aunt. The cool one that his kids get shipped off to for vacations, the one that gives crazy gifts and takes them to museums and Disney World and makes them stand up a little straighter. Works for me, I believe every kid needs one of those relatives in their lives. Besides, he's my little brother, if he hadn't realized that I'm in full rights to brain him. :-D

My not-so-little brother. But I can still beat him up.


Alexandra said...

Wow! Some people have a lot of nerve. DH and I made a decision early on not to have children and people have some very funny reactions to that. These days, when somebody is being a pest, I just make a sad face and lower my voice to almost whisper, and say "we can't have children". It's technically true because after DH's vasectomy it's not possible, but people usually take it in a very different way. Anyway, it gets them off my back without argument and that's the whole point.

You have a great mom! Supportive above all.

luckylibbet said...

Moms are the best! That doesn't mean you have to be one if you don't want. It's your own life and you have the responsibility to make your own decisions.