Just another breeder
Oh no. It’s happening already.
I knew, somewhere deep in my cynical soul, that it would come. Eventually my fiancée Kitty and I would stop ranting about the surplus population and our own selfishness, and give in to fear of mortality and the desire for our name and will to live on.
I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
I used to joke that no one really wants a kid – they just want something to which they can teach all the lessons they’ve learned over their lifetimes. Something that can avoid their mistakes, profit off their successes and generally make the world a better place. A robot, in other words.
Think about it. Robots can be cute, if they’re little and designed by Steve Jobs. An iChild. You can program it with everything you want and enjoy watching it upgrade itself until about 13 years on, when it decided it wants nothing to do with you and goes on a rampage, kicking through walls and eating old people’s medications. Just like a teenager.
But lately, the robot plan seems less shiny. For one thing, I wouldn’t want my iChild getting bullied by all the clunky, Vista-based reprobates in public school. Or worse yet, shot up by some malfunctioning Dylan Kle-Bot hopped up on Linux.
No, I think a flesh-child is the ticket.
I blame Rachel, YES! Weekly’s operations manager. She’s the one that went and got pregnant nine months ago. I’m sure watching her and her husband prepare for the 10-pound atom bomb about to enter their lives is what set me off on a progeny kick. There’s also the torrent of celibri-babies rushing out of Hollywood and onto the covers of grocery-store tabloids. Babies are everywhere these days – our culture is filthy with them.
Honestly though, the sudden rush of parental persuasion on the part of my fiancée and I probably has something to do with her father, Don. He recently went in for major surgery, and although he’s managing it with all the optimism and energy we’ve come to expect from him, it has put some things in perspective. For one thing, while Kitty and I are nearly the same age, Don’s older than my grandparents. She has siblings the same age as my parents. And while he’s still got the vitality to swing a chainsaw while standing on a roof 15 feet off the ground (which I doubt I could do), we’ve got to face facts. Don won’t be around forever.
And what a shame it would be for our child not to meet him. I’ve had the unique fortune to not only have two great parents myself, but also to marry my way into gaining two more. There are lessons in knowing Don, the kind you only learn from living off two hands and an honest heart. They’re about building what you need and rebuilding what you’ve lost. They’re about things I’m sure I won’t realize I’ve learned until years down my own road. Things I’d rather our kid learn first-hand, from the source.
At this point, let me give some relief to my relatives, reading this column with their jaw on the floor and their fingers on the phone. No, I don’t mean right now. Kitty and I will still be waiting a while before seriously planning on a child. There are some oats left to sow, and some decisions yet to be made. There’s also a lot of money to earn and a massive stockpile of sleep to build up before giving up on either for 18 years.
And while I hate to consider it, there is the possibility that our child won’t meet some of the people that have shaped Kitty’s life and my own. Regardless, even if they don’t meet them, they’ll know them. We’ll make sure of it.
E-mail Chris Lowrance at firstname.lastname@example.org.