Tag Archives: kid

What I Want For My Kids

21 Mar
These are not my children. (source)

These are not my children.
(source)

I don’t have kids. And I don’t plan to have kids for a very very very very very very long time. If ever. I kinda just want to adopt one. Whatever. Anyhoo. The point is, I probably maybe possibly very well may have small human things that receive my maternal care and eternal love and whatnot. Kids. And I’m going to want some things for them.

The thought just randomly crossed my mind this morning, while I was sitting in a cafe and staring out the window and at my cell phone screen in turns, trying to keep the loneliness away.

Aaaanyhoo. All of a sudden, thought was just there: What am I going to want for my kids?

And right on the heels of that question came a torrential flow of answers that I hadn’t even known I’d stored anywhere in my brain.

I mean, sure, I’m basically a hippie, and looking at this list, these are all things that I’d want for myself, too. But isn’t that kind of part of the point?

Here. Let me just tell you what surfaced in my brain as the important things. Here is what I want for my kids:

Piles of leaves to jump in.

Hills covered in green grass to tumble down.

Deep, dense forests to wander through.

Lakes to go swimming in.

Rocky beaches with lots of tide pools to explore.

Burning blue skies with the occasional puffy white cloud to imagine funny shapes in.

Tall mountains and deep caverns and cliffs doused in the spray of the ocean.

Deserts to find the hidden spaces of.

Lightning bugs to chase in July and butterflies to watch in August, bees to know the bumble buzzing of and birds whose songs will wake them up in the morning.

Sunshine. Rain. Snow. Maybe even a couple of hailstorms.

Sprawling countryside unbroken by sidewalks.

Sidewalks and concrete that have become bounded by green spaces.

Respect and reverence and raucous laughter.

Tears, of multiple kinds.

The strengthening of hardwood that still sways in the wind.

Fire light.

The birth and death of a spinning cosmos as a concept grown behind their blinking eyes.

Love.

If nothing else, love.

On a Long Week and Adulthood

14 Nov

This has been a long, odd week, lovely readers. Monday felt like Tuesday, except Tuesday apparently hated me and was even worse than the perennially detested Monday, and then Wednesday came in and decided that it could outdo Tuesday in the emotional writhing and logistical blows departments. It’s been fun. Where “fun” actually means “can I please rewind to Sunday and then press the ‘skip scene’ button so I can just move on to the weekend?”

I’m not sure how I feel about Thursday yet. I was the first one to the office (hoorah campus job), and considering ALL of my supervisors were at least 15 minutes late, it meant I got to be the one to handle three other people’s jobs until they showed up. But I did see a hummingbird while outside, waiting for security to come and unlock the building for me. And I think seeing a hummingbird is enough to make it a good day.

So, can I just go back to bed now?

Responsibility is tough. I don’t particularly like when I have to be “real world” adult. I’m not talking about being all grown up and taking care of myself and having to go work and pay bills and whatnot – I’m generally of the opinion that one can go out and do all those things, even be professional about it, but still come back home at the end of the day and build a fort in your bedroom. I usually find that the most well-adjusted adults are the ones that can still stick their tongue out at people and have tickle fights.

No, what I’m talking about is not the responsibility that I have as an adult to take care of myself and clean up my own messes. I’m talking about when I have to clean up other people’s messes because they’ve hurt me, but done absolutely nothing to the other person.

Like frantically calling my psychiatrist’s emergency phone number all night because my pharmacy still hadn’t filled my antidepressant prescription from three days ago and informed me that the medication was in fact on backorder, which is manufacturer speak for “god knows how long it’ll be till we get this to you.” Or like having to fill in for people, or run their errands for them, because they don’t have time and I forgot about the word “no.” Or like having to negotiate the sometimes conflicting expectations that other people have about my schedule when it comes to my being a volunteer and an employee and a student and a person.

This is the complicated part of being an adult. This is the part they don’t tell you about when they talk about preparing for the “real world.”

I’ll just go hide in that fort now, thank you.

The Fear of What Comes Next

18 Aug

Recently, there was a Times article entitled ‘Having It All Without Having Children.’ I haven’t read the entire piece, but my impression is that it generally discusses views on having children and why that is or is not a good idea for various couples and how attitudes are changing about the “selfishness” of child-free couples.

Now, since I haven’t actually read the entire article I can’t guarantee this, but I got the feeling that it probably didn’t cover a few of the reasons that women I’ve known have had for being hesitant to have children. Reasons that will cause most people to just shut their mouths and nod.

But I also thought of the women I’ve known who could have had those same reasons and went ahead and had children anyway. And honestly, I think those women are incredibly brave. To decide to take the risk and have another kid after a couple already has one child born with autism or blindness or leukemia… To decide to try again, and again and again and again, after the trauma of miscarrying… To decide to invest a piece of what made your soul and your biology in another person when you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression or bipolar disorder or bulimia… I’m not sure I could make those decisions.

And so this is a poem for all those women who have stared in the face of the fear of what comes next, and had a child anyway. And this is a poem, too, for all those who have known that fear and quietly, determinedly said no, I will not.

empty swing

The Fear of What Comes Next

You look at me and wonder –
what if it would turn out just like you?
You think about the nights you have lost,
rocking me in a cradle, colicky and cold
beyond any warmth the touch of your fingers would give.
You think about the moments upon moments of delusion,
when you hoped that this was just a phase,
and the little face looking back at you would smile some day,
and call you mama.
You wonder if the next one, like me, would never, not once,
be able to say that word.
You decided you will not give nature and chance
any more cruel opportunity.

You look at me and wonder –
what if it would turn out just like you?
You think about the nights you have lost,
staring bleary-eyed at that reflection in the mirror,
across the sink, over the pill bottles your shaky hand fingers.
You think about the moments upon moments of delusion,
when you hoped that this was just a phase,
and the nakedness looking back at you would smile some day,
and call you unbroken.
You wonder if the next one, like me, would never, not once,
be able to say that word.
You decided you will not give nature and chance
any more cruel opportunity.

And so they turn away from him, with that damn hopeful look in his eyes,
and say it’s late. Perhaps in the morning.