At the airport yesterday, I saw the usual gaggle of people toting small children around. Airports are the one place that could make even the most devoted child lover turn into an infanticidal maniac. Explaining to a three year old that she has to remove her favorite princess shoes to go thru security, only to have said three year old throw an apoplectic fit as she is dragged through the metal detector is just one of the many experiences parents will have at airports across the world today.
It also affords me time to reflect on just how bizarre and strong the social, psychological and physiological forces are that govern the decision to have children. I fail to see this as a right, and yet I know I would be confronted with millions of baggy-panted, backward hat-wearing midwesterners who would vehemently disagree with me. When I see a 22 year old woman with three kids in tow, complete with a husband who has the constant look of "what the fuck have I done?" on his face, I cannot possibly pretend to be happy for the human race. I don’t care how mature you are, three kids is fricking hard. And three kids and a husband who works for TruGreen making $18 an hour is borderline irresponsible.
I am especially conflicted given one of my dearest friends recently told me that she and her husband are not able to have children. This couple is, in contrast to Eminem-wanna-be at gate 30, eminently able to raise and rear a child in a way that would enable he/she/it to be a contributing member to society, yet they are denied that biological ability. I am unable to process the irony here – not that it is unique – in fact, that may be why I’m so saddened by it.