I’m taking a brief divergence from writing-related topics with this for the purpose of simply writing (wacky concept).
This may be one of those ‘duh’ things that the rest of the world figured out a long time ago, but it only recently occurred to me that having a child means completely tethering yourself to a total stranger for (god willing) the rest of your life. Beyond just moving in with a person unknown to you, your child requires you in every way and everywhere you look someone is telling you that slacking off in even one seemingly insignificant area will quite possibly turn your drooling, hooting little baby into a serial killer in 30 years. For my son and I, this means a lot of sitting and staring at one another, overanalyzing everything I’m doing or not doing. I take my phone out to send 1 text message and realize 5 minutes later that I’m still on my phone, cruising blogs or answering emails. Dexter-hood, here he comes. What if this new little roommate is a concentrated combination of all the things I loathe about myself and all two-to-three of my husband’s faults? For most of my life I was firmly encamped in the ‘nurture’ camp, RV and all. Then my friends began having children and, observing, I was forced to realize the overwhelming power of nature. We are who we are, to varying but definite degrees. Believing in the rule of nurture meant I could control any children I might have and it meant that my and my siblings’ problems could be easily blamed on our parents, not on some nebulous system of cell division and genetic dice-rolling. Now I recognize that nature is the weather and nurture is the snow boots or sunblock your child wears out in it, allowing him to best survive or thrive in what he was dealt. So we didn’t take a quiz to determine our 99 dimensions of compatibility before we contracted ourselves to each other, so what? I’m realizing that when people refer to parenthood as an adventure, they either are or should be referring to the gamble of loving a stranger for the rest of your life, no matter how in sync or incompatible you two may be, no matter how much he or she looks like Weird Uncle Glen or laughs like Overbearing Nana Harriet.