Not-So-Precious Children

I’m not really a fan of children, which I know must come as a surprise to many of you. They’re noisy and dirty and annoying and, yeah, don’t get me started. I’ve also never bought into the to-me inexplicable sentimentality that surrounds children. I mean, I certainly don’t wish them ill, as such, but I honestly don’t get the whole trite and cliche’d bit about how their lives are so full of hope and promise, so much potential cut short, blah blah blah that gets trotted out every time a child dies in an accident somewhere, boo hoo, wait, why am I a bad person for not feeling all angsty and heartbroken about the death of a complete stranger who couldn’t even tie his or her own shoelaces yet?

To me, children are kind of replaceable, but it’s the old farts with a half-century of knowledge and wisdom and experience under their proverbial belts who are most valuable, and whose premature loss is truly tragic. Just a slightly different take on things, I guess.

This, as you can probably guess, means I’m kind of wishy-washily on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate that mankind is doomed to suffer through for all eternity. Not out of any great moral conviction or anything, mind you, but just because I don’t see children as the great be-all end-all culmination of modern civilization the way some of the more annoyingly vocal pro-life activists seem to, and I kind of tend to, by default, reflexively disagree with anyone who seems to be frothing at the brain…

I’m also one of those people who doesn’t see government involvement in every aspect of daily life as something to cheer on or, heaven forbid, look forward to.

Sometimes, though, I kind of wonder…

There’s a family that recently moved in down the street. Husband, wife, one kid, two dogs. Haven’t actually met ’em. Don’t have any real desire to do so. Some of my other neighbors have, though, and one of the more gossip-prone is shocked, appalled, and dismayed by what she learned… and thinks everyone else, including me, should be, as well.

You see, it seems that the new neighbors only have the one child, yet the wife is pregnant for the tenth time. Before you jump to any erroneous conclusions, says the gossipy neighbor, you should understand that the woman in question has had eight late-pregnancy miscarriages. Eight. She’s batting .111 on the whole successfully-seeing-a-conception-through-to-live-birth front.

The gossipy neighbor thinks the would-be baby factory’s tubes should be tied, or something, presumably by the government, because she’s needlessly endangering the lives and souls of her precious offspring. (Pro-life, can you tell?)

I really don’t like the idea of the government meddling in the personal affairs of citizens, but I do kind of agree with her, in a way. I get that this lady wants children, but come on, already; by miscarriage number three, I think, it should be somewhat self-evident that the universe has kind of stacked the deck against you producing a genetic legacy, if you know what I mean. Accept the not-actually-that-tragic reality of the situation, adopt a couple of the thousands of unwanted kids that are clogging the country’s foster-care system, and try to move on with your life.

I really don’t know. To be sure, you’ve gotta love a country where people are free to torture themselves physically and emotionally by doing things you personally find immensely stupid, but government meddling doesn’t really seem like the answer. What is the answer? Is there one?

Thoughts on a postcard to the usual address, et cetera.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on May 4th, 2010| Comments Off on Not-So-Precious Children

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