SKELETONSSUMMER 2006                                                                                                                                       ISSUE 7



           I’d like to think of myself as noble; that my contribution, or rather my non-contribution, to the human gene pool is an act of martyrdom.  I’ve deemed myself unworthy of motherhood based on characteristics such as laziness and agoraphobia just to name a few.   I’ve heard mothers and fathers tell me “Everything changes when you have a child."  This change may be good for some but for me I can imagine it has something to do with taking on more responsibility.  In our society assuming responsibility is a mark of becoming a better person and the ultimate responsibility is to raise the next generation.  No wonder those who remain childfree are looked upon as freaks.  How can one truly assume the role of an adult if they do not have a child?  Perhaps the answer is that one doesn’t ever assume the role of an adult when he remains childfree. I will forever be the favorite aunt of my generation’s children because I still have and want to keep the childlike qualities of irresponsibility and immortality.   I still want to play in the ball pit at McDonald’s.   I don’t want to be the one who looks out for a germy kid that might infect the group or tell someone when they are laughing too loudly.

         Not only is the responsibility a burden but the psychological toll is not appealing either.  Oh yes self-sacrifice is another mark of emotional growth.  Imagine the mental years that a parent acquires when her child needs a size larger pair of shoes. While attending my niece’s high school graduation, I felt ill having to recall how long ago this very event had happened to me.  I made my apologies and skipped the graduation dinner, but for a parent there is no escape.   I see the agony a parent has to endure when they watch their child go through the first pains of love.  There is no parent who can convince a child they will survive a broken heart.  All one can do is watch, helpless.   Enduring life trials all over again and having no say in the outcome is indeed a self-sacrifice that I leave to those more adult than me.

           Instead, my days go by marked by my own achievements and failures.   Free is the most important part of childfree.  I can suddenly change my attitude, my identity, my career choice, my sexual orientation and not have to worry about the irrevocable psychological impact it can have on my child.  I don’t have to worry about global warming because I’ll long be dead before anyone I care about will be swimming off the coast of Ohio.  Peace in the Middle East isn’t necessary just as long as they retain the status quo.   I am impatient with myself when I ask why after why after why but I know when to stop.  

 I don’t understand how cookies will ruin dinner. 
 I can eat cookies and dinner and have never had a problem.


           I have the ultimate respect for those who choose to continue our species, but most importantly it is a choice not a necessity.   Having a child would be the equivalent of trying to breath with a boulder on my chest.  I will not have less of a life because I have not introduced children into it.  I’ll have time to write a novel or paint one more painting or see one more natural wonder in exchange for missing play dates and birthday parties.  To the parents of the world who take their job seriously I salute you.  And I will always be the favorite aunt who give you guys a break for a weekend every once and a while.



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