So S. and I have been considering the idea of having a child.
This would be an unimaginable change in life for me.
I am selfish. I resent people and things who wake me up. And I am 34. Not to mention the supraventricular tachycardia issues and prescription sleeping pills.
I am not sure I will be able to go through with this.
Also, I knew me when I was a child. I suspect my genes will be dominant. Can the world handle a mini me?
Example: I was about 6 years old. Old enough to know better, but that whole "good judgement" thing has never been my strong suit. My brother Jeremy and I were home alone one evening. If I was 6, Jeremy was 9. That means he was older and should have also known better, and possibly had better judgement. Back to the genetic thing though...my familys crazy was built to last y'all.
Anyway, we were home alone and apparently bored. And evil. The evil probably hasn't changed much. We lived with a wonderful dog named Brownie. She was well behaved, patient, and never caused problems. But she was afraid of the vacuum. Jeremy and I ran through the house with the vacuum. Around and around, with the terrified dog desparately trying to hide. One of us came up with the brilliant idea to flick the lights on and off. Great fun, until the fuse blew.
Mom and Dad came home to find two subdued children, no lights, and a trembling dog. Like any child confronted with the question of "What the hell did you do?", we developed amnesia and said "nothing".
Dad replaced the fuse and we were let off the hook. I think, on his behalf, that doing any detective work would probably just open a very large can of worms. I think it was a choice that Dad made to not investigate what truly happened.
Dad never really seemed intersted in being an active and involved parent. My father was the curator of a very large childrens museum, but avoided his own small children frequently. Most of the staff at the museum at my fathers level worked Monday through Friday. My father chose to work Tuesday through Saturday. That meant he only had to deal with his family on Sundays. On Mondays all the kids went back to school and Mom to work. I understand the ned to have time for yourself, but I also think that it shouldn't come at the cost of your family.
My mother was abusive and neglectful. It is hard to write that. It was hard to believe that. It took many years and many therapists to help me se that I am not a bad person, and I was not a bad child. I had bad parents. And don't tell me that "they did the best that they could", because that is not the case. Both of them are college educated, and neither were beaten in their childhood homes. Both of them worked as teachers in public schools and had training and experience in dealing with children.
I feel feral in a way. I know that things were different with Jeremy and with me. We are the youngest children in a family of five children. I think that maybe my parents tried more and harder with the first two. Less with the middle child. And not at all with me. I was left on my own, at home, for hours when I was five. I was allowed to, and encouraged to make my own breakfast. Including scrambling my own eggs over the gas stove in a heavy iron pan. I was responsible for pretty much all of my own care - bathing, dressing, grooming, entertainment. I was allowed to ram the neighborhood at will and at random for hours.
I realize that 150 years ago, it would have been common for small children to handle tasks that are now handled by adults. I do think that children need to learn things as they are able, and under a supervised atmosphere. Children should not be left to their own devices and not shown how to interact appropriately with the world.
I worry that I will have that sort of passive/ "I don't want to know" attitude with a child of my own. I worry that I will have a child that does those sort of things. I worry that I will be a bad parent, and that my child will choose not to speak to me for over 10 years, as I have.
Part of me really truly wants a daughter of my own, to raise and care for. To do a better job with than what I had. To teach and to love and to experience the world with. But I hold back because I am afraid I will not do a better job. That I will, in fact, do an even worse job and create another unhappy person.
I talked to my Nurse Practitioner about this. She is very smart and I respect her opinions on most things medical. She said that she came from a jacked up family, but that when it is your own family you can change the patterns. I hope she is right. If I do decide to have a child, I am going to fight as hard as I can to have the most happy and well adjusted child I can possibly create, because failure is not an option.