It's generous of Jessica to think that I am not sleepwalking or lost. I certainly agree with her that it's odd to produce children only to avoid them, but I reject any exceptional status. Had you seen me this morning, you would have seen a beaten 37-year-old man dragging a big boy down the street, both of them miserable. The boy, for reasons only available in the phrase "I don't want to be hot," was refusing to wear more than a single long-sleeved shirt when the sharp wind was saying "This fall shit is on and clothes are a must." The message was so clear that the same boy was tucking his hands up into his sleeves and holding my hand through his shirt, stuck in the trenches of his pride and refusing to put on the new PS 150 sweatshirt in his bag, the very same one he was thrilled to have because two of his friends also have it.
I was exhausted by all of it—my own stupid tenacity, hanging on to the idea that a child should wear a sweatshirt in the cold, not least because I told him to; and his equally tenacious commitment to refusal, the two of us marching down the street like rain clouds.
Being a dad is killingly hard, and as often as I judge semi-Dads and their "lunch-with-Daddy-except-he's-on-his-cell-phone-oops-one-minute" idea of parenting, I'd be fucked if my burnt nerve moments of yelling and substandard attention were submitted to real scrutiny.
Think fifty-seven times before getting into this game. And parents—don't hate or discriminate. Folks without kids are probably doing everybody a big, humane favor. I mean, honestly—how many people you can think of that you actually would encourage to bear and raise children?Posted by Sasha at October 5, 2004 09:56 AM | TrackBack