Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Night Owl

Stayed up most of the evening talking to an old friend on the phone. She is newly divorced and juggling two young children. I sometimes think I have it too hard until my reality comes crashing down around me after talking to someone else like last night. I really have it easy when it all boils down to it. She kept telling me she wanted to trade places with me. I scoffed and coughed. I wouldn't want to wish my reality on anyone else, nor would I want her reality as well.

Left the house around 3 A.M. Trudged down to my local convenience store for a free cup of coffee. It was a brutally cold morning with a temp of 28. My favorite clerk was in fine spirits reveling me in tales of last night's customers.

"I had someone try to get a refund on a pack of cigarettes," he told me propped up against his counter.

I smiled and listened intently.

"Wanted to trade it for a beer."

"What did you tell them?" I asked.

"Told her we can't trade tobacco and alcohol products," he replied as he laughed. "It was the biggest line of bullshit and I almost couldn't keep a straight face telling it. I just didn't want to fool with that shit last night."

"Do you have any kids?" I then asked, changing the subject.

"Why?"

"Just curious. I was talking to a friend last night about them. We both agreed they were more trouble than they were worth."

"There are no skeletons in my closet," he replied. "I don't want any kids."

I walked on home thinking of children. I am getting older and my time is passing. Soon, I will be over the hump and headed for sixty. The odds of me having kids decreases every day. I wondered if my life would have taken a different path if I and Rachel could have had children. My life would have certainly been more complicated. I came to the conclusion that it would be selfish of me to bring kids into this crazy world, and with my assorted problems.

9 comments:

justLacey said...

If you think you're crazy now, put some kids in the mix. They will drive you over the edge in a second. It's very hard to be a GOOD parent.

Cheryl said...

To use an old line, kids are a blessing and a curse. Sometimes more of one than the other. Still, I couldn't imagine my life without my daughter. It isn't for everybody, though. Parenting is one very hard job.

Blue Gardenia said...

Andrew, I brought 2 kids into the world with Schizophrenia. Fortunately my disease got serious in a gradual way and I was able to be a good father except for 1 undiagnosed year. Now I have an adult daughter doing her graduate work in Cambridge England and I have a 12 year old daughter who is a good student but gets called into the guidance office for having such a flat affect. My fingers are crossed for her and I will be here for her if the dogs of Schizophrenia howl inside her head. Taking care of children force us to come out of our own fog and face reality. It can be very theraputic. It can also be a disaster for the kids if you fail at parenting which I am sure you know about due to your mother's unfortunate condition. But keep your chin up. Let the other unfortunates around you be your children and look after each other the best you can.

darla said...

I don't think being a parent is for everyone. Some have found this out after the fact, unfortunately. I, on the other hand, couldn't imagine life without my kids. They have been a blessing to me in many ways. I don't think there is anything wrong with a person who chooses not to have children. Some think it is selfish, I think its a responsible decision. I know a few married couples who have chosen not to be parents and it has worked for them very well.

Rhette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynette said...

I think that once we realize that our problems are ours for a reason, it becomes a little easier to deal with them. I would want anyone elses troubles either.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

WOW! What Blue Gardenia said!powerful!!

I worry more about supporting them (my own little ones) emotionally than I do over anything else..and you have that creative gift to be able to relate to them.

but it is hard, and it's forever the moment the eyes gaze down on their newborn child for a man, and the moment she feels that fluttering kick within her belly for a woman..I wouldn't trade it although there have been many days I truly wish I could return to my single days..but i'm learning that's all part of this world.
To produce children to help make this world better. Children from your world would make the world better without a doubt my friend!

Always,
Crusty~

azure said...

Parenting is not for everyone, it involves a lot of sacrifice, constant sacrifice. You have to regularly (daily) put your own concerns and desires aside just to get through your daily tasks. You have to keep things stable, financially and emotionally, even though you really don't want to.

I've been a parent for 25 years and it's only now, just now, that I can step back and ponder what *I* want to do, what *I* need.

There are lots of ways to contribute to kids and humanity other than being a parent yourself.

Kelly Jene said...

Children are a gift. Thats all I know. Sometimes its hard and sometimes its easy. Daily I worry about them and wonder if I'm doing what's best for them.