As social mammals, human life falls in certain cadences. For my social circles, my twenties were marked with weddings. I learned that I missed a career in bow-making at Bed, Bath & Beyond every time I wrapped a gift in the same wrapping paper option as the last wedding I went to and I learned to sit uncomfortably through yet another speech. I developed a keen gift for sneaking out right after the cake was cut and for always ending up at the “boy’s table” lamenting the cost of weddings in America. My own wedding was – much like most of my major life decisions – made capriciously and came together only with the help of everyone I loved. My mother helped me crochet birds for wedding favors, my cousin helped me paint things in my aunt’s garage until the wee hours of the morning and my dearest friend’s worked very, very hard to keep me from accidentally dying as every bee in the Tristate area was in town for the event and anxious to great me. Unfortunately, I still to this day remain deadly allergic to their existence. There was literal fire, family drama, car accidents, medication mixups, a lot of blood, and twisted bones – and that was just the night before.
My thirties appear to be marked by divorces. With every week comes another change of address card in the mail – for only one of the two people in that residence – and a dubious Facebook relationship status update marked hidden. A friend of mine is still waiting for her divorce to be final – after moving cross-country and starting to date her current fiance almost three years ago. Another friend is in limbo right now with what to do for her marriage – and her other relationships.
Uncoupling, it seems, is the next life stage. No longer reserved just for software and databases! I think of my own life and….wait, no. Not doing that. I avoid thinking of my own life as much as humanly possible in almost dread of the next life stage. Well, that or the other option in this board game.
Several of my friend’s have recent had small, gluttonous beings with siren-like vocal chords come into their life. Yes, they are now parents to something more than a cat or a dog. I like my fur children and they are much lower maintenance than I imagine children to be. Heck, I can’t even manage to reliably pick up the laundry I pay someone else to wash, let along be in charge of another human life.
Things I’ve Heard About Being A Parent That I Don’t Believe
“It’s different when you have kids of your own!” – Why, yes, yes it is….
“You learn to love your children more than you think you ever could!” – I’m sure that’s valid but I remain rather fond of my cat and I never thought that be the case.
“It’s only natural” – Actually, it’s evolutionarily common for humans to pass on their lineage but a requirement of said evolution is that some members of the social group do not procreate.
“You’ll know when the time is right!” – Ever notice how people trying to influence your life choices inevitably express their opinions with exclamation marks?
“Sometimes children just happen…” – If only there were known methods to stop said madness! Wait…
But life will march onward…
Curiously, I’m not sure if I am trepidacious or eager for the next life stage. For me, I don’t know what that stage will be. But whether I see it coming or not…it will get here.