Childless by Choice

My friend hands me her niece, who cannot yet speak. I keep my arms extended, leaving Lily dangling.

“What is she, like four?”

by Hayden Andrews

This was last year, but I’ve never had a fondness for children. Even when I was a kid, I preferred adults. I just lack the gene to nurture. See, I don’t hate kids; I just cannot imagine my life with children as a part of it. My desire to do whatever I want, whenever I want, runs deep. That might be selfish (who, me?), but I can’t picture myself lugging a kid around while I live as Hayden. That wouldn’t be fair to either of us; I already have a midlife crisis planned!

Only I was pressuring myself to reproduce. I hadn’t entertained going childless as an option. I’m an only child, which brings up several caveats about who will help me with my elderly parents, or who will be taking care of me when I’m senile. There’s also that whole bloodline thing. However, I’m banking on a caring partner to grow old with at this point.

I’ve been lucky to dodge the badgering about my decision. Maybe I have to wait until more appropriate childbearing years to constantly be told I’ll “change my mind about having kids.” My grandma said it once, but revoked her statement after an infant behind us grew fussy.  “Yeah… that doesn’t seem like you.” Spot on, Judy.

Maybe if it were 700 years ago I would’ve been pregnant by now. Thankfully for everyone involved, we have evolved, and I can make the choice not to procreate.

This whole decision was cemented during my summer-long employment at P.F. Chang’s. Routine interaction with families of at least six members – or as I fondly refer to them, litters – was painful. Did you know infants could scatter rice faster than the speed of light? And their glutton for the free fortune cookies was always relentless. Those cookies were not a delicacy, not worth it.

Don’t get me wrong. I fantasize about the day when my best friends have children. Children in my life? Not a problem. However, I simply do not possess enough understanding to rear them off my morals. It’s a ways away, but I am prepared to spoil my friends’ children at grandma-caliber. I’m down to be the sort of hip aunt at the sporting events, I’m just uncertain at how a car seawt would look in my rearview mirror.
This was last year, but I’ve never had a fondness for children. Even when I was a kid, I preferred adults. I just lack the gene to nurture. See, I don’t hate kids; I just cannot imagine my life with children as a part of it. My desire to do whatever I want, whenever I want, runs deep. That might be selfish (who, me?), but I can’t picture myself lugging a kid around while I live as Hayden. That wouldn’t be fair to either of us; I already have a midlife crisis planned!
Only I was pressuring myself to reproduce. I hadn’t entertained going childless as an option. I’m an only child, which brings up several caveats about who will help me with my elderly parents, or who will be taking care of me when I’m senile. There’s also that whole bloodline thing. However, I’m banking on a caring partner to grow old with at this point.
I’ve been lucky to dodge the badgering about my decision. Maybe I have to wait until more appropriate childbearing years to constantly be told I’ll “change my mind about having kids.” My grandma said it once, but revoked her statement after an infant behind us grew fussy.  “Yeah… that doesn’t seem like you.” Spot on, Judy.
Maybe if it were 700 years ago I would’ve been pregnant by now. Thankfully for everyone involved, we have evolved, and I can make the choice not to procreate.
This whole decision was cemented during my summer-long employment at P.F. Chang’s. Routine interaction with families of at least six members – or as I fondly refer to them, litters – was painful. Did you know infants could scatter rice faster than the speed of light? And their glutton for the free fortune cookies was always relentless. Those cookies were not a delicacy, not worth it.
Don’t get me wrong. I fantasize about the day when my best friends have children. Children in my life? Not a problem. However, I simply do not possess enough understanding to rear them off my morals. It’s a ways away, but I am prepared to spoil my friends’ children at grandma-caliber. I’m down to be the sort of hip aunt at the sporting events, I’m just uncertain at how a car seawt would look in my rearview mirror.

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