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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

It seems ironic that I write about a day that doesn't apply to me in any way. The biological father has passed away, the father in my childhood has passed away, and I myself have not been lucky enough to BE a father... yet.

There have been thousands of books written on how to be a good father, many discussions on how important the role of a father is, and everyone knows what their own experiences have been, life-altering or not.

This isn't about any of that.

The version of fatherhood I got was what NOT to do, so I grew up with very serious thoughts on the subject. Yes, like everyone else, know I would be a great Dad (obviously MANY are wrong!!!). It would be easy to just make babies, assuming, I don't have a biological reason preventing it. Since many Moms struggle so hard to provide for their kids without a husband or help from the children's father, I saw first-hand that picking the right person to create this magical little person was crucial. Therein lies the problem for me... the RIGHT person. Since I haven't settled yet, why even think about it now??? There are plenty of great mothers and mothers-to-be. I just have to find one that thinks I am not awful! If it happens then great.


if it DOESN'T happen, life is still great, just different than most. I have to admit that my family history of Alzheimer (and there is a LOT!), I don't know if I want to subject another human being to dealing with that. I also have much more freedom and less responsibility, although that allows me to be a bum sometimes!

I have had many offers to be a father with some really great ladies. It may have been wonderful forever, but I didn't just want to be a parent to a rugrat. I wanted the best Mother and Wife to stand with me and walk happily into the sunset, dragging 2.5 mini versions of us along. Without her, I didn't want ANY of it...

Why DO people have kids?

Brad Paisley sang
“You know, to me it's all so clear
Every one of us is here
All because two people fell in love”

I agree. I imagined kids because it was the ultimate expression of the love I had with a great woman who adored me. That still seems to be the thought even now, all these years later. I find, in asking many folks, there are more than a few reasons. It wasn't easy to get a straight answer from anyone because so many said that no matter the REASON, they were happy they did. Here's what I found:


The single most popular answer to the question of “Why I have kids?”. It's hard to imagine that happening these days with so many ways to NOT get pregnant, but there's no questioning reality. It happens, Almost happened to me. I can see how the heat of the moment, the romance, even the affection you feel at the time clouds your judgment.

We ARE human so we make mistakes...

...and Live with it.


Or not.

That’s the problem with accidents. We might not be as easy to embrace the consequences since we didn't actually PLAN it out and look forward to it. That's a shame since there is so much to be happy about. The absentee fathers will never know...


People worry about living and dying. It is the basis of most religious beliefs which in turn, contributed to many wars with people of opposing views. There is a peace of mind that comes with having your bloodline continue when you are gone (although, seriously, we ALL shouldn't procreate – see Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, whale hunters, girlfriends/wives of Charlie Sheen, Pittsburgh Steeler fans, and anyone profiting from causing the worldwide economic collapse NOT in jail (pretty much everyone involved is still counting their money!!). Some say this is a selfish reason and a selfish person is the WORST parent they can imagine. Lots of people lose themselves in raising their kids and end up angry at the innocent babies they brought into the world. If you are truly looking at immortality, teaching someone to NOT lose yourself in ANYTHING would be more everlasting....

Love of another person.

I heard this one a few times. I can't imagine a human being not receiving enough love that they feel like their best recourse is to create a person who will fill that need. While I am no expert, it makes sense to me that if you feel underloved or disengaged with humanity, the odds are stacked against the poor child to get prepared for the real, cruel, difficult world we live. It's the old cliché, “If you can't love yourself, how will you love anyone else” Is it fair to a newborn to have a job before it can see?

OTHER people do it.

No one admitted this one but I KNOW the world is filled with followers. Apple counts on it. The Kardashian's are rich from it. Those of us who swim upstream won't ever figure it out. It just is. It's not a bad thing. Not everyone can be Gandhi. There are folks who unwittingly contribute to this outlook. They are the ones who ask “What is WRONG with you?” when you tell them you have no children. Like you were from the wrong planet or something. They don't understand that there IS a choice!

It's the reason to live.

I had one huge surprise when researching this topic. Lynn. Of all the people I know, he is one of the deepest and thought-provoking. His answer was that if he didn't have kids, there would be no reason to live. Wow.... I know it's not a slap in the face of folks who choose to live out their lives without reproducing, but dang, that seems too harsh. With all the challenges in today's world, there is more of a case to NOT be a parent than to do it. Imagine how great your twice-a-year vacation can be if you didn't have school clothes to buy, braces to pay for, taxi service to provide, games to attend, heartaches to heal, weddings to contribute to, divorces to deal with, and bail to post.

I expected Lynn to say “income tax deduction” before he said what he said.

Someone to take care of me when I am old.

This is a common answer. I can honestly say it never occurred to ME, even though I am single and wouldn't have a wife to do it if needed. When you look around, not many kids deal with parents that need attention. Everyone has a life to live and it ain't easy! Nursing homes certainly can attest that many folks are too far gone to have family be burdened with their care. I do see that with the high cost of living and medical expenses so out of control, there is a valid argument to go back to the way things were – families live together and stay together, not breaking up as soon as the kids are through with college. Imagine the house you could buy with three generations contributing??? Wow...

I want to teach someone.

This is a good one. Every generation SHOULD improve on the last, The experience gained should be passed on. Unfortunately, we all want to learn on our own Only the smart ones listen to their elders and don't make the same stupid mistakes. The smart ones also will not let their ego stand in the way of learning, probably for the rest of their lives. I wish I was one of those people!!

Is there a right or wrong answer? I doubt it. We can read books and listen to people who know, but until we are in the position, we got no way of knowing how WE will react. Will we have the patience and understanding? Will we be able to do everything we want to do for our kids? Will we be as good as we think we would be as a role model?

It's almost universal that once you BECOME a parent, it is all worth the effort and sacrifice. The rewards far outweigh anything else. That's good because there is no money-back guarantee, no refunds, no way of undoing it once it happens. You will be one for the rest of your life.

Maybe I will be so lucky... Registered & Protected

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