Monday, February 5

For my friends and readers who are not parents.

I wrote this to a friend of mine and wanted to pass it on. Maybe someone else will find it resonates:

One thing I wanted to comment on is your love for children and regret that you've never had any.

I've said this many times to friends of mine who regret not having had children: the world has need for your parenting, and will NOT LET YOU have that feeling in your heart go unexpressed and unused. Keep your eyes open. This may sound too flaky spiritualistic, but I really do believe that the universe does not allow parental love to go wasted. Maybe you'll give money to UNICEF. Maybe you'll become a big brother or sister. Maybe, and this is very likely, some young person will really, really NEED you someday. Whatever happens, cherish that part of your heart that loves children and the universe will find a way for you to spend that love.

And a special comment to the men out there (yes, KO, you too): also remember that when our youngest child was born, Mr. Blue Gal was 63 1/2 (and delighted by the news). There's also Tony Randall, Clint Eastwood, Larry King, The Donald, etc. Old man, keep the condom on if you don't want kids. Just saying.

(Incidentally I'm not suggesting that everyone without kids regrets that decision. One thing you learn when you become a parent is that parenthood is NOT for everybody. As I said to one girlfriend, "No kids? You're just lucky, I guess." The friend to whom I wrote this did regret. And I know that love for kids will find a home. That's all.)


  1. I have students WITH parents who desperately need mentors. Kids need coaches. Good coaches, not maniacs and dopes. Kids need counselors for their youth organizations. Kids need Sunday (and Saturday and First Day) School teachers.

    And you know what else? Kids need role models. Adults who act like adults, and who treat kids with dignity and respect, instead of with condescension and suspicion and cynicism. Some of the nicest and most interesting people I know right now are teenagers. Two of them live in my home. I work with 88 of them all day. Even the ones who make me nuts.

    You'd be surprised what happens when you talk to one like s/he's a human being...

  2. I'm just going to adopt that as a core tenet of my personal creed.

    The world needs your parenting and won't let it go to unexpressed... ...exactly right.

  3. Seriously, I plan to adopt a teenager at some point. Who else is going to?

  4. Quaker Dave, you reminded me of a high school biology teacher who treated her students with courtesy and received it in return. My college-prep bio teacher was not adept for the work.

  5. Anonymous1:32 AM

    My sis never had kids, never regretted it. She's a high school English teacher and a damned good one, though, and man does she ever love other people's kids.

    Proves your point, I think.

  6. I have been with my wife 28 years, no children.

    We have plans to adopt, once the child has finshed grad school and paid off all their student loans.

  7. Blue Gal,

    You always keep telling me I'm going to be a good father someday.

    I'm not ready yet.

    I feel sorry for the children of the woman I was in a relationship with. They've gotten their hopes up five times only to see them crushed.

    But she was toxic and I realize that now. I feel more sorry for the kids than I do for her--and that's not resentment.

    They're in between a rock and a hard place. Mother who has problems and father who has more problems.

    But I know this will only make them stronger.

  8. Children. Jesus.
    I don't even like plants anymore.
    In fact, I don't even buy batteries anymore. They just keep DYING on me, right when we're supposed to be in the middle of a relationship. What's the point?

    Family intimacy is important, because you have to figure that it's really hard to work up enough of a grudge to inflict intimacy on anyone new.

    At least if you give birth to someone, you figure you'll already have intimacy because Damn, that's gotta hurt. So there's your resentment right there already, and then you can build up from it.

    Anyway, Kudos to Those who Do.

  9. Trackbacks aren't working, but I wanted you to know this post has been chosen for the Carnival of the Liberals - Thanks!


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