(11) the lessons we give them

I’m not a parent. Yet. One day. I still have time, despite what anonymous people say online about single women in their thirties. I’m not “out of eggs.” I’m not “past my prime.” Sure, you can make the biological argument, but you don’t know me or my medical history. So it’s best not to pass judgment or think I’m somehow less of a woman because I don’t have kids yet. Would you rather me bring a child into this world with some schmuck, or someone who actually wants to have children with me? Is your world affected by whether or not I have a child yet?

This is besides the point. I just wanted to mention that I do get bitter about it sometimes. It does bother me that it’s taken me longer than most to find someone willing to make that commitment with me. It’s not something to be taken lightly. And my biological clock isn’t telling me I’m running out of time. Yes, the window is of course closing. I’m not stupid. I know fertility chances are better for younger women than they are for someone my age. But I can’t help but think I’m just someone who was meant to have children later in life. My mom was thirty-seven when she had me. My dad was forty-two. I have an old soul by default. I’d rather be mature and know what I want out of life before I bring another person into it.

One of the major conversations taking place is education of our children. It’s encouraging to see so many parents speaking out in defense of their children’s minds, and looking to push back on the increasing nonsense making its way to the mainstream. It all gets me thinking about what I’d look like as a parent. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for years. I knew it didn’t benefit me to listen to all the advice I’ve been hearing for years: don’t get married, and don’t have kids. People I knew seemed to use my situation as a mold of what they wish they had done, living vicariously through my ‘freedom’ that I no longer wished to be a part of. I don’t know why I let this thinking penetrate me, and I don’t know why it’s even there in the first place. It’s obviously being taught somewhere. And it’s time to reassess and rethink what direction our instruction is going.

Some people may think because I don’t have children, I’m not allowed to wade into this conversation. I say that’s unfair. Am I not allowed to comment on what’s essentially becoming a humanitarian issue? Either way, I’ve got to say it’s disturbing watching what’s going on. We’re witnessing a takeover of making sure our children know what to think, instead of teaching them the skills to think critically. There’s some kind of misconception that just because they’re small, it means they can’t, or don’t understand what’s in front of them. Adults make it their goal to do all the thinking for them, because they always know what’s best. I cannot grasp taking advantage or manipulating another person in that way, no matter how small they are.

It’s our job as adults to lead the generation behind us, and we do them a disservice when we try and craft them into mini versions of us: tired, confused, and angry at what they do not understand. It’s fine to not like kids. You don’t have to go near them. And it’s fine to want to give your kids the best education possible. I just seriously question what we’ve let skate by for the past few decades. There’s plenty to blame as the cause. But the only solution I can come up with is raising your own moral standards for you and your loved ones, hoping it permeates out. You have your own life and your own thoughts, independent of whomever you’re raising.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ll be the perfect parent. I don’t think any of them are. All I know is that when it’s time, it will come from a place of love. The moment I realize life is growing inside me, I’ll do everything in my power to protect it. It’s what happens when you become a parent I imagine. You find you’re capable of loving even more than previously thought. Conception is a miracle. The results should be treated as such. I’m not sure we’ve fully grasped that, but I have faith. They say everything changes when you become a parent. I’m sure I’ll see plenty before that day comes. But in the meantime. I’m looking forward to making my lessons truly count.

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