It has changed the way I look at little ones. As I walked down the street today, I saw a couple kids playing with each other and being just generally cute. Normally, this is my face:
It has undoubtedly freaked out every partner I have ever had. I can only assume they think I’m obsessed with babies and want to have theirs (when, in all actuality, I’ve only ever dated one person with whom I would consider children in the future), so they get weird and uncomfortable and start ensuring that I’m being religious about my birth control. But I really just love kids, in general, and want them and am totally unabashed about that part of my being.
But now, when I see their little faces, I get bleary-eyed. I am currently visiting New York City and have yet to see my cousin’s children — of whom I am obsessed because they’re amazing and brilliant little angels — because I’m afraid I will cry. And crying in front of kids is probably not the best way to say, “Hi darlings, merry Christmas!”
Now, I can’t think of anything in regard to children besides, “Somebody might take them away from me, someday, and I will probably not be able to stop that person.”
Every time I have so much as thought about kids in the past week, I just can’t get images of children crying out of my head. I wish I could tell myself that the headlines and stories are somehow worse than the truth, but they’re not. We all know that that’s not true. The fact is that there are a bunch of kids who aren’t coming home to their parents, and that’s not fair to either party, and that truth is worse than any fictionalized details people could’ve possibly come up with to get pageviews or a larger television audience.
Yes, I have always known about the bad, bad things our world holds around every corner and down every lane and across every hallway. There are awful things that happen all day, every year. But for some reason I can’t quite pinpoint, I can’t help but be so frighteningly aware of them that the prospect of having a child now upsets me. My friends often make fun of me because I get this can’t-hardly-wait grin on my face every time I see baby pictures or spot an adorable kid in the street. Now, I just want to avoid thinking about children because if I do, my only emotion will be anguish. Anguish and fear.
Photos: Leave It To Beaver, The Little Rascals, The New Normal.