And now my stupid friends are having stupid children.Bo Burnham, 30
My stupid friends are having stupid children.
My stupid friends are having stupid children.
Stupid, fucking ugly, boring children.
At 32, I can confirm, all of my stupid friends are having stupid children.
Meghan and I, recently engaged, are interacting with babies all the time now, and baby talks are fully underway. Needless to say, lately I am very much thinking about babies.
DO I WANT KIDS?
Yes. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve wanted kids. I like the idea of being a good dad.
I think about the life lessons I’ll want to instill in our children (which I will spare you), all these gems I’ve picked up in my 30+ years of living. Then I think back to being a kid myself and my dad trying to teach me one lesson or another. In the moment, I probably wasn’t paying attention, or didn’t really get what he was saying, but he was probably being thoughtful, and saying things that really meant something to him. I can already feel the ‘talks’ I’ll have, where I’ll really want my kid(s) to understand the point I’m making, that it’s paramount to their development, and they’ll probably just want to play another game of Tekken like I did.
Aside from that, you hear from people all the time that having kids is the ‘best thing‘ that’s ever happened to them. A recent guest on Lex’s podcast put it creatively when she said she loves her daughter ‘more than evolution requires‘.
A number of other guests reflect on having kids and most of them say something along the same lines of “life seems completely unsustainable when it’s happening but then when they’re grown up you wish you could go back“. And seemingly none of them regret it, in fact the one guy regretted not having more.
The broad notion is that although challenging, having kids is great!
AM I SCARED OF HAVING KIDS
It’s the most terrifying day of your life the day the first one is born. Your life, as you know it, is gone. Never to return… But they learn how to walk and they learn how to talk, and you want to be with them, and they turn out to be the most delightful people you’ll ever meet in your life.Bill Murray, Lost in Translation (never saw it)
This past week was eye opening. We were in Avalon just a few weeks before Jude’s (my nephew) first birthday. He is, by all measures, the star of the show. Every moment he’s around is spent either observing him or trying to make him laugh, and it’s great. Seeing him smile or grab things or try to walk is fascinating, it’s a feeling I don’t get anywhere else.
But then he starts crying, or needs to be fed, or needs to take a nap, and Laura or Joe handles that and I happily go back to doing whatever I was doing. But the responsibility is ever-present. The never-ending need to have an eye on him is daunting. As someone who’s very much visualizing my life with a child soon, it seems like… a lot.
I know that there will be sacrifices. In one sense it puts a time limit on the things I want to do with no interruption, running being the first thing that comes to mind. I have ~two years to train exactly as I want. Once we have a kid, I assume that won’t quite be the case.
But I get confidence from the people around me who have kids. Everyone manages one way or another. And frankly, it doesn’t feel like I’m weighing my options of ‘is this really worth it‘. I already know it’s happening, so I want to embrace it with open arms.
A podcast Meghan and I listened to recently put it in an interesting light; that society today is built around the freedom to do anything, and that can actually be paralyzing. The idea of spending my 30s ‘living my life‘ without a kid to really enjoy that ‘freedom‘ is too hard to pass up! Having a kid immediately constricts a lot of your freedom. But ultimately it gives you more purpose than you’d ever find elsewhere, and that humans kind of thrive in the constricted zone as opposed to the endlessly free yet overwhelming world that we have today.
I think when we look back in a few decades, like most couples, we’ll probably say that having kids was the best thing we ever did.
Initially I planned a section for how many kids we want, what we hope they do, etc. But that feels a little silly. Would I be happy if our kid ends up being a state champion runner? Hell yeah I would be. But my parents weren’t runners at all and they probably never envisioned their kids would get into running. I feel like once you have the kid, you look at them as a blank canvas that could go a million different directions and you’ll be happy with almost all of them.