I feel like I’ve been spearheading an attack on parenthood lately, though most of it is happening in my own mind. And I know it’s ridiculous. Almost all reasons for becoming a parent seem insufficient to me right now, but I am sure the day will come when I, too, will want to be a parent for some apparently insufficient reason. Just as I used to think it was ridiculous to write vague or impossible wedding vows (“I will always love you”? Really? How on earth can you promise that?) and then when the time came to write my own, I found I was promising all manner of vague and impossible things just to make the ceremony a bit longer.
We humans jump face-first into major life decisions; we don’t know why. Why enter into a (theoretically and idealistically, if not legally or actually) unbreakable monogamous contract for your lifetime? Why go into major debt to buy a house when renting makes more financial sense in the Bay Area? And why create a whole new person who will be absolutely reliant on you for several years when there are plenty of low-maintenance people already running around?
There are no good reasons. People do these things because they’re the things people do, and most of my grumbling is an attempt to stave off the nearly inevitable day when I sigh and admit that I probably do want to do the next irrational thing. And when asked why, I’ll say it’s because I want someone to take care of me when I’m old, or because I want a mini-me, or because all my friends are doing it. When the real reason is that people are people, and so am I.