There are moments when I envy people who have kids. And there are plenty of other moments when I don’t. Having been childless throughout my life I’ve gotten rather selfish. I like ‘me’ and don’t necessarily want to share ‘me’, other than with the memsahib.
Why didn’t I have children? I have been asked. And I don’t have them for a host of reasons; possibly not valid reasons, but certainly ‘my’ reasons as well as the reasons of the person with whom I was sharing a bed at the time. And bed-sharing, to be true, leads to the sort of shenanigans that allows kids to happen – if that’s what you want.
But, it didn’t. For a long time I didn’t want any. I wanted to continue to be self-indulgent – who in their right mind doesn’t? — and I didn’t want to upset my life pattern caring for a little critter given to ‘mewling and puking’ not to mention pooping and peeing with not a care about how offensive that sort of behavior can be. So no, I did not go in that direction.
And then there came a time when I actually wanted to go the kid route. Don’t know what happened but I found to my surprise that I really liked tots. I found them to be pretty, amusing and likeable. Unfortunately, and such is life, my wife was no longer interested mainly because she’d run her course with me and did not want to share wee ones with me.
Yet a few years later, and for a brief time, I had a kid. She wasn’t spawned by me but I was senselessly in love with my stepdaughter. But later the relationship turned to shit for a bunch of reasons, some of them even my fault. And my SD turned sour and decided she hated me. I think she maybe still does. I don’t care (I mean, I do care, actually, but ain’t nothing I can do about her feelings) because I still regard her as my stepdaughter. Take that, sugar plum. Only kid I ever had, and that is that.
And I still like kids. I have an email friend with two wee ones and I like following her trials and tribulations from afar with kids I have never met but have grown very fond of. Maybe I’ll meet them someday.
But the reality of the passage of time came to me yesterday when my dear niece, whom I have known from the day she first came down that maternal laundry chute, came to pay a visit. I cannot recall having enjoyed somebody’s company that much in a long time. And she is kin. That makes it even better.
Not my kid – and certainly no longer a kid – but she’s as close to mine as it comes.