I just read this essay entitled, “Why Would I Ever Bring a Chid Into This Fucked Up World?” And hell, I totally get it (plus I applaud the author’s use of my favorite word).
It does feels like one of those periods of time where we as a race seem to be going straight to hell in a hand basket. The escalating situation between Israel and Hamas is churning out daily headlines that make me shiver. A plane was shot down in the Ukraine yesterday, leaving me to wonder what the aftermath will mean. And if those two things aren’t enough to rock your world, here are some back up worries: game altering climate change, an enormous Ebola outbreak in Africa, Whole Foods is no longer carrying the small size of vanilla Silk soy milk.
Obviously there have been many times in history when things seem unmanageable, and doomed. Times where we lose hope in one another because it seems like insurmountable amounts of shit are hitting the fan in such a way that we don’t think we should, or could, or might keep going.
It’s during those times that you have to remember some very basic stuff. You have to remember how the smell of sautéeing garlic, newly cut grass, and roses make you feel. You have to remind yourself what a sunrise or a sunset looks like, or a new puppy, or the ocean, or a cup of coffee with the perfect amount of cream and sugar. You need to remember what a breeze feels like on a hot day, or how a hot bath feels on a cold night, or how a hug from someone you love after a positively stinker of a day makes you feel new again. You have to recall when you’ve been shown kindness from a complete stranger, how ice cream tastes, how falling in love makes you feel hopeful inside your heart.
There are good things in the world. There are good people. Having children is an act of hope. Perhaps I am selfish, naive, silly, or short sighted, but having children, while our biological destiny, is also casting a vote “for us.” I don’t want to live with the kind of poisonous cynicism that would make me not have a child. Having kids has been my best thing. It hasn’t been easy, and my family in no way resembles The Brady Bunch, or The Huxtables, but it has been something that has changed me, shaped me, and given me everything. Having children has taught me more than any degree from Harvard could, and has given me more people to love. And in the end, love is the only antidote I know of that can do battle when the world goes bat shit crazy town. So, sorry Erin, I don’t agree with you. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss having kids for the world. No matter how violent, insane, or cuckoo that world gets.