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Matilda, Part V

Figure 1: Matilda and her cousin Owen, on the first day of school 

This is the last post about my kid for a while.

Because:

a) she needs privacy like anyone else
b) she didn’t ask to have a blabbery mom like me
c) it’s a little obnoxious, this yakking about your kid online, especially always in glowing terms

I’ve decided to close this blog series by saying something about being a parent. Because why the hell not?

I didn’t really consciously ‘become a parent.’ Obviously. It sorta happened and we dealt. That is a good lesson for someone like me who is anxious by nature. It’s a big part of why being married to the guy I’m married to is very good for me. Surfing chaos and learning to keep on the board – I need that in my life.

I read a lot of parent books and baby books and crap while pregnant. That’s how I understand most things in life – through books, so that’s not a shock. These books taught me some good tricks; I recommend doing that while pregnant – reading all those books about infant massage and homemade baby food and cloth diapering and hip mamahood and whatever the hell. Who cares if you never use half of it. It’s like studying the Old Masters before you stretch a canvas. You need to see what all went on before you became someone’s mother.

People get really maudlin when they talk about having a child. And with good reason. It’s fucking serious shit, man. This little doughy thing that can’t talk or move very fast or well is DEPENDENT on you, for like, a whole bunch of years. I mean, Matilda’s now at the age where, in some parts of the world, I could sell her for a sheep to some nice family of sheep-herders and she could learn their pastoral ways and understand how to build a fire and crap downstream and whatever else you need to know at bare minimum in this life, but for many years, she was sort of reliant upon me and Adrian to shepherd (heh) her through life safely.

But I don’t think the reason to have children is because ‘they’re the future’ or ‘you want to make a difference’ or ‘they are precious angels of god’ or whatever. At least, that’s not my reason.

(Obviously I had no reason, except that I thought it was the normal thing to do. Talk about sheep.)

But now, a decade into being someone’s mother, I think the best reasons to have a child are:

1) you want to have a long-term loving relationship with someone
2) kids are super-duper funny.

(The first is just to screen out assholes and abusers, which, obviously, doesn’t mean shit in a practical sense. It’s sort of like when you go to pick out a puppy, how you must ask yourself if you’re ready to put this beautiful little sweet animal to sleep for its own good. If not, bust out the condoms or put the puppy down or whatever.)

The second is my personal endorsement. Nothing has ever amused me more than my kid and my sister’s kids. Every weird thing they did. Every word they mispronounced. Every little story. Everyone has those kinds of stories. They are comedy gold in my family, really. And they are essential, all these laughs you have at your kid’s expense or your stupid parental expense. Because long-term relationships are hard. Especially if you cannot walk away. Which you can’t, if you’re a parent. If you’re a good parent, that is.

Now I’m all serious and gross. Ugh, parenthood does this to a person. But that’s the happiness my kid brings to me. And that’s why I’m glad I had her.

2 Comments

  • Matthew MacNish on Apr 26, 2013 Reply

    My daughters are the best thing that ever happened to me. Now, if they would only stop getting so old.

  • Elizabeth Fama on Apr 26, 2013 Reply

    Agreed. I gave birth to my best friends.

    Also, teenage daughters keep you from wearing lame cloths.

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