Monday, February 20, 2006
Bunnies, Babies, Blighted World
Tee hee. This is Jim & I at our friends' magical wedding last summer -- we were all asked to come as animals or faeries. The part of my costume that you can't see -- because I decided not to wear it -- was made by my clever sister Emily and consisted of a snake that would appear to be swallowing me up to my waist. (My "baby" sister is a herpetologist who did her dissertation on rattlesnake physiology and something about sexual dimorphism and feeding habits -- she's now a professor at 29! Smarty pants!)
I was just searching for a photo to put up with my post today, and this made a really weird tangent in my brain because I was thinking about... er, having babies, and how some groups of people in this country are having them faster than others, sort of like... er, rabbits. As I said, weird tangent. But I have been thinking about babies. It's not exactly my biological clock -- I do actually believe the clock is a very real physiological thing. In my 20s it was in full force for a while. Baby dreams, strong urges to "forget" to take my pills, things like that, but it sort of faded with time, and now the idea of babies is more of an intellectual process. A bit more rational, which is maybe not the way to go about it, because anyone will tell you it never "feels" like the right time -- and it doesn't. And friends of ours who DO have babies, some of them are cheerleaders for babies, but far more of them say doomful things while staring with their wide sleepless eyes, like "You'll never have time for yourself ever again. ever. ever. ever..." or "the one thing nobody warned me about was the monotony". Not helping us take the plunge! And then there are those who visit with their perfect babies who never cry and make parenting a one-year-old seem like the simplest thing in the world! (Sweet Caleb! Darling Grace!)
There was a line on Scrubs this season that was too too good. When Carla was trying to convince her husband Turk that they should have a baby, she told him another doctor said it was like having a dog that slowly learns to talk. That convinced him to go for it! (Men.)
(Speaking of men, on the dog walk this morning Jim out of the blue started playing the baby name game. His choices were: Bruce Wayne Di Bartolo; Clark Kent Di Bartolo; and Peter Parker Di Bartolo. Dork! Big big dork!)
As self-employed artists we'll have it easier than some with the transition - we work at home. We'll work it out. But we're both in a point in our careers where we work endless hours and are so greedy with our time. But then I feel more and more that I'm closing off an essential part of myself by not having a baby. It's kind of like having vast rooms in your house that you never go in, but they're rooms in myself. It's an experience of life and self that I don't want to miss. There's a part of me that feels like it's selfishness to bring children into this blighted world - that we do it for ourselves, not for them. I have an absolute sense of fatality about the future of this planet and I can't help but think that a century from now any descendants of ours will be gasping in a toxic stew, drowning under the floods of global warming or embroiled in a morass of wars. I was really glad to read the lovely poem today on Alexandra's site, but it didn't sway me to optimism. I can see no sunny future for this planet: it's doomed. We're killing it. But I still want to have babies, even though they'll inherit this big messy doomed future.
It strikes me that I'm overthinking this whole thing. Anyone? Anyone? Whew!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 8:59 AM