“Maybe you shouldn’t have kids,” I sigh into the phone.
Typically I’m encouraging my little sister to just have a kid already, but my sister has caught me in a post Benjamin was being a pain in the ass moment and I don’t really feel like talking, or doing much of anything. In fact, I just want to wallow in my moment of feeling like I am the worst mother on Earth. These moments happen. I have learned to ride them out by curling up in my bed until it passes. But now Anna has called and because I cherish our conversations I answer.
“I know. Right? Why should we have kids? We can do whatever we want, whenever.” She and her husband live in Charlottesville, Virginia – one of the coolest little cities on the planet. They’re bartenders by night and live rock start lifestyles.
“I know. You suck. Seriously.”
Then I tell her about this old man I heard at the cafeteria in my great uncle’s nursing home saying, “Kids. You breed ‘em, you educate ‘em, you buy their books, you feed ‘em, you even house ‘em and then what? What do you get? Nothing. A whole lotta nothing.” There he was, in what could be the very last few days of his life, wondering why he spent so much of his life raising and rearing children.
“We give everything to them and then we’re just tired and exhausted at the end. It’s like the rule of nature or something,” I tell Anna.
After I hang up and have a few more moments to relax, I walk back up to Benjamin’s room excited to see him and hear his little voice. He may be a pain in the ass, but he’s my pain in the ass and I couldn’t live a moment without him. And yet, I can completely understand why my sister isn’t hankering to have a baby.
More and more young couples, like my sister and her husband, are choosing not to have children. And more and more single women are remaining single, with very good reason. They are just fine, completely happy on their own. Exactly as I was when I met John.
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