Parenting (from a non-parent)

A friend of mine is having a baby. (Well, a couple of them are, but this is about one in particular). Emotions appropriate to this development include happiness, excitement… but mostly I feel apprehensive.

I parted ways with this person years ago because I disagreed with their stance on an ever-widening group of subjects, and one of those subjects was child rearing. I expect any prospective co-parent to support my children’s health and happiness, and they – to my mind – did not.

It’s important to note here, I think, that they believed they were doing the right thing, and that it wasn’t being done out of hatred. At least, it didn’t feel that way. But when they told me they couldn’t accept a child if the child was gay, or transgender – that they would give them their love but not their acceptance – I couldn’t reconcile that. I couldn’t compromise on that.

So now they are having a kid with someone else, and I’m worried all over again. It’s none of my business, but I can’t not feel it. And who knows? Maybe they’ve grown over the past years; maybe things will change when the kid is a reality and not a theory. I wish I could feel an unadulterated happiness for them.

The more that I think about it, the more nervous it makes me that any one person should have dominion over another. Why does anyone in their right mind want to be a parent? I mean, I know, genetics and natural selection and memes (but not like internet memes), but – it should be terrifying. I suppose most people have a moment of being terrified. But we go on reproducing.

I don’t know. I have nothing against kids. My nephew is fun to hang out with. Kids are fine. But they’re not for me. So maybe this is all me projecting my own insecurities onto other people. It’s just that when I hear stories about parents making their kids’ lives miserable, it hurts. Parents ought to be the people you can trust, can turn to no matter what, yeah? Isn’t that how it ought to be?

But today we have parents who refuse to vaccinate, and sometimes their children die, and sometimes other children die as a result of it. We have baby Vegan diets and babies fed with junk food. Bottles with Coca-Cola in them.

Of course, the flip side of that is something close to eugenics, and I don’t support that either. No one should make your reproductive choices for you. It’s too personal, it’s too powerful. And god knows we don’t need the 1% taking more shit away from us.

When did people stop listening to science? When did people start looking at their children as their pet projects and not as human fucking beings?

I have seen internet posts from families who brag about their children being “off the grid” – delivered at home, no Social Security number, no birth certificate. Are you fucking kidding me? Look, the system is fucked up, but you are robbing your child of their future! And then for fuck’s sake don’t post ON THE INTERNET about it. This isn’t a sociological experiment, it’s a PERSON!

Is it because we all want to think that we’re smarter than the next person? We all want to imagine that we have found the Secret to win against The System? We want to feel like we’ve got it all figured out, that we know the things that other people don’t?

Has it ALWAYS been like this? Centuries ago, were people having babies in barns and then hiding them whenever the local Lord or his representatives came by? Did people marvel over the ability of liquor to send a baby to sleep and refuse medicine as witchcraft?

Just be open to the possibility that you’re wrong. Be open to the possibility that you aren’t reading the results of that study correctly. That bias has been introduced. Learn to sift knowledge back and forth in your brain like a great pan until the shiny gold nugget of truth reveals itself. And then be prepared to have that nugget disproven in five years, or ten.

Well, this turned into a fucking rant and a half, yeah?

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