Further Addressing the Elephant in the Room: An Apologetic

Got some stuff I’ve needed to get off my chest since Friday… For those who need it, this post comes with a potential “trigger warning.” Shit kind of gets real here.

People who know me know that I’m particularly “quirky” about kids. Most of my friends think I don’t like kids. And sure, I often find kids irritating, or loud, or inexplicably sticky…but “don’t like” is a little harsh. I don’t WANT kids, and I’m not accustomed to looking after them. But “don’t like” isn’t necessarily fair.

But when you say you “don’t want kids,” people assume there’s something wrong with you. They assume you’re the type of dead-inside, selfish (for some reason), joyless person that harbors an active dislike toward children. And after hearing so many people throw that at me, I play that up a little bit, partly because I think it’s funny. Or if nothing else, it’s expected. And it’s just EASIER than talking about it. I’d rather be dismissed for being what I’m not than pitied for–well, for the things I’m about to write…

I don’t hate kids. I just don’t WANT them. When people look past the facade, they sometimes ask me why.

Answer: In the stark, horrible reality that has settled in after what happened in Newtown…can you really blame me?

This world is a terrible place, and I’m not a very strong person–despite what some people might think of me. I’m emotionally very weak. Somewhat fortunately, that weakness often manifests in eccentric ways…but inside, where it counts, there’s not a very strong person there. I have not stopped being sad since hearing about the kids at Sandy Hook. It’s solidified my desire not to have any kids of my own. I just wouldn’t be able to take it if that happened to one of MY kids, if I ever had them. So I’m trying not to.

I have kids in my life that I care about…and kids that I HAVE cared about…and sadly, I’ve been to funerals for children before. (Most notably for a couple of kids I knew who were killed in a car crash.) When that happened, I was unprepared to see caskets that…fucking small. It wasn’t right. It isn’t right. I stopped believing in God for a few weeks after that. We’ve had something of an on-again-off-again relationship ever since, in fact. In my stronger times I realize that I can’t blame HIM for something a human did. In my weaker, I wonder why He–even HE–couldn’t have done something about it. (At present, I feel like He’s listening, but not really holding up His end of the conversation–for the record…)

And my nieces and my nephew. Sometimes when I look at them, it breaks my heart. They’re so beautiful, and sweet, and kind…and this world isn’t. And they’re going to figure that out. And I hate it, because I love them.

And then a madman goes into a school with a gun and kills 20 kids. And also the brave, wonderful teachers we’ve been hearing so much about. I come from teachers. My dad’s a retired teacher. My mom was a teacher and died during a school year–and the school had to figure out how to explain it to the kids, who went home crying because that’s the day they figured out that the world sucks. My dad’s girlfriend (who has–interestingly enough–been in my life for more years than Mom was) is a retired elementary school principal, who still does work in the district. My sister in law is a teacher. My mom’s side of the family is OVERFLOWING with teachers. Some of my close friends are or have been teachers. Hell…even Iworked at a college. Could’ve been any of us…still could be, I guess.

I live in fear of getting one of those phone calls. Actual fear. And I live in fear of if the person next to me in the restaurant or the movie theatre has a gun strapped to their side that they might pull…and…and…

And I don’t want kids. I don’t want to raise a child in this world. I don’t want a child to become PART of this world–especially this country. And I’m terrified for the kids I love that are sitting in schools right now.

Even just last night, I went with my dad to see the Hobbit. Good movie…but that’s not the point. We were in a theatre with about 30 or less people. Down the asile, a woman had brought a young child with her–presumably her daughter. In the quieter parts of the movie, you could hear the girl talking–fairly loudly. The movie was too grown-up for her and she didn’t care about it, so she was chattering away. Eventually, the kid nodded off and I saw the (again, presumed) mother carrying her out of the theatre. Normally that kind of thing would get so far under my skin it would ruin the movie. I’d say shameful things about the parent and go on a tirade about how children shouldn’t be allowed in public if they don’t know how to be quiet, etcetcetc…

Not this week, bless her. Not. This. Week.

I don’t think I’d be a very good parent, to begin with. I’m not very responsible. I’m tired all the time. I have my mother’s patience. And yes, I do often find children frustrating. But I also find them heartbreaking. And I find it devastating when even ones I don’t know have their lives cut short. And I couldn’t take that. I don’t even like it when an adult YELLS at a kid, who was just trying to have fun…

So you’ll pardon me if I play up the facade, play into the stereotype, or if it seems somehow out of place to you that I’m so downright depressed or angry over the events in Newtown–and I refuse to accept that there was some “reason why” the gunman did this–there was NO FUCKING REASON apart from intentional evil. If it seems out of place, it’s because I’d rather play into the stereotype. I don’t like talking about this…but in a world with this kind of evil, I’m starting to think it’s a damn good explanation. And I just wanted to throw it out there.

Sorry for the heavy tone, dear readers (if any). I promise I’ll post something stupid before Christmas.

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3 thoughts on “Further Addressing the Elephant in the Room: An Apologetic”

  1. Hugs. The world really sucks sometimes. It is also one of my reasons not to have kids. How can I create a thinking, vulnerable, feeling being in this lousy world with all of its disasters, diseases and some downright evil fellow humans? I’m just not going to do that!

  2. Derek, believe it or not I am one of your ffaithful blog readers and miss it when you take a hiatus!! This post touched my heart. I appreciate your honesty and realism. I especially appreciate that you sometimes let us readers into your heart. Dang, I just appreciate you as a person!

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