Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Why Would Anyone Want to be a Parent?
You pee on a stick and it turns blue. Wow. What a less than grand beginning for a relationship that is going to be magical, messy, and maddening. Today my daughter turns 29 and I'm trying to imagine what it is that makes people want to have children.
Really. Think about it. It's going to tie you down, cost you a small fortune, and drive you crazy. You'll spend sleepless nights imagining the worst scenarios possible when they are late. (We always went with "dead in a ditch") You will spend hours awake in the dark, first listening for them to cry, and later for the key in the lock and a sneaky foot on a squeaky step. When they've wrought all this damage, they leave. And this is AFTER you've risked your life for them.
Not in labor. I mean teaching them to drive.
So what makes us do it?
There is something built in that makes us want to care for and nurture our offspring. There is also something a bit selfish going on as Shelby tells us in Steel Magnolias (the font of wisdom--right after the Bible-- for all Southern women) when she announces her pregnancy to her mother:
"And when it's all said and done there will be a little piece of immortality with Jackson's good looks and my sense of style, I hope."
I think she hits it on the head at the end:
We hope the world will somehow hold itself together at least long enough for our children to grow up. We hope they'll be part of the solutions and not the problems. We hope they'll be better than us. We hope they'll be braver, more confident, smarter, and not make all the mistakes we made. We hope that they won't sit silently by while injustice rules the day. We hope they'll stand up for what's right.
I think something in us hopes they will change the world.
Happy Birthday, Baby! You make the world a little better place every day.