I like children. I love my own children, and feel deep affection towards many children I have known. Kids have spark, they see things the way we forget to see them with our bogged down, self-important grown up perspectives. We forget the magic of the simple, and they don’t. I enjoy how my own children seem to have kept me… happy. Young. Aware.
I don’t always want to be around children. I like to enjoy the occasional dinner out with friends, sans responsibility other than making sure that I look nice and don’t spill food or wine on myself, nevermind making sure no one else does. But I’d say that’s normal when you live with seven people under the age of 18 and have changed roughly 30 000 diapers. I have twice attempted to have evenings at my home with a great deal of advance notice given to parents regarding finding a sitter so that they could have a break and just enjoy their time away, because I do think it is important to do so periodically. I also have a lot of gatherings where kids are more than welcome to come and run wild with mine and just have a grand old time.
I have some good friends who have chosen not to have children. They like their freedom. They don’t hate children, mind you (one of these friends is actually a teacher), they are simply childess by choice, and I respect that, as they respect us for impersonating the Waltons with our tribe. They visit, we visit, and we always have fun.
It’s the child haters that disturb me. The ones who have a bizarre animosity towards babies, children, and even pregnant women. It freaks me out even more when it’s a female child hater. I don’t think they would bother me at all except that I have noticed a common denominator among every single one of them (besides the child hating, of course): they are more childish than most children I have ever known. Disturbingly childish. Freakishly lacking in maturity, tolerance, and emotional development in general.
I have never known a genuine child hater who wasn’t seriously disturbed themselves.
Again, I’m not talking about people who simply aren’t into kids. That’s fine. We all want different things in life. I don’t swoon over ferraris or professional athletes, or millionaires. Not my cup of tea. But I don’t hate them or bear any animosity towards them, as though they are some putrid growing blob of toxic mold ruining a world I am trying to enjoy. That would just be… weird.
Maybe they should send all the child haters to Mars before they send other people to actually colonize it. You know, see how humans actually fare on it before attempting to populate it. Just a thought. I mean, they’d never have to deal with children again… Of course, once they started getting sick and old and dependant on others for their needs, they would have to rely on the spawn of us breeders to ensure their care and comfort. Hmm… Maybe they should just be nice to kids and stop hating them instead, since they are going to need some decent, caring, well-raised former children in their lives one day or they will in essence be royally screwed.
It’s a bit like pouring cyanide into a lake that I know will someday be my only source of water. Silly. Irrational. Again, disturbed.
On that note, I am going to head into the kitchen and start cooking my fourteen year old former-child-now-adolescent-soon-to-be-young-woman’s birthday dinner: steak, lamb chops and fries. She has two friends over for the night (who are also former-children-now-adolescents-soon-to-be-young-women), along with her six siblings, one who is hitting the young man stage, and the rest who are younger than her. All—every single one—bring me joy. Oh, they have their moments, and no, we do not take vacations to Cuba, Hawaii, or any other popular destination among couples with no children, or couples with one or two. And that’s OK. That is a choice we made, and someday when we are able to do it, we will enjoy it all the more—unless we are simply travelling all over the country, or the world, visiting our many children and hopefully many more grandchildren instead.
Instant gratification has never been my thing, unless you count the rush of oxytocin that floods my body right after giving birth as I look at what in that instant is the most beautiful face on the planet. Even then, that always took nine months and a few hours of grueling labour. I’m more of a long-term investment kind of gal.
Child haters. They used to really upset me. Then they baffled me. Now I get it: they have issues that if we dug a little deeper actually have nothing to do with anyone else’s children. I kind of feel sorry for them. Fear breeds hatred. I’m not quite sure what they are afraid of, but it is most likely some unaddressed part of themselves… It’s a sad way to live. It’s a sad way to be.
I will stop typing and go make dinner now, so as not to starve my own (loved) children any longer… 😉