That phrase brings to mind fearful images of saturated diapers, late nights and a very, very sore back and arms. As someone who is expected to present my mother with grandchildren someday, to get married and have my own children is alien and distant, partially because in this part of the world teenagers who get knocked up don’t stay in school and because I am not ready. For the most part, it’s because of the latter. However I am a complete sucker for soft-skinned, tiny humanoid creatures that try very hard to speak intelligibly. And I occasionally daydream of the exciting things I may do with (and to) my imaginary dwarfs. At times I may be doing something completely unrelated to babies and afterwards find myself lolling on the bed giggling at the thought of a small child clutching to my leg (I guess it isn’t such a distant idea after all). In fear of being thought of as a baby-crazy nut, I don’t go around telling people such things. When someone tells me that they want to have 10 children, I tell them to marry a millionaire. I am aware of the consequences of having children, just as I am aware of the pathetic number of viewers this blog has.
Who I intend to dilute my genes with, I have no idea. During a pointless discussion on marriage and commitment in an atheist group, someone suggested to me that I visit a sperm bank. A part of me instantly revolted against the thought of being inseminated by a stranger. The rest of me didn’t want to think of the possibility of me being so lonely and desperate. Considering the reasons for my recurring images of raising a child though, I suppose that buying sperm isn’t such a wayward idea. Other than having a live plaything, I have much noble plans (cheh).
I want a child to teach. A young, helpless soul that will absorb absolutely anything that I teach him. Untainted by the prejudice and biases that ignorant parents pass down, my child will be born to a house filled with books. All kinds of books, on history, science, literature, art, philosophy, all waiting for him on the bookshelves to enter his literate years. Aunt Jane will teach him how to be a gentleman in the 19th century, Mr. Sagan will offer a ride around the Universe, Murakami will show him the romantic world of two moons. He will be exposed to all that I was not and he will seek solace in disciplines that I did not. I will do my best to equip him with the fundamentals of reasoning and most importantly, compassion and love.
I want a child to tell stories to. Every night I will bide half an hour of my time to sing or tell stories to my child before he sleeps. These are the most formative years of his life and if I have to forgo an hour of extra sleep for him, so be it. I will instil in him a desire to think out of the box. As the years pass, I will trade in a Peter And Jane book for a Penguin Classic, a Ladybird Book for one with no pictures. At some point he will be tired of his mother’s slow pace and read them on his own. I will scream at him from downstairs to stop reading and sleep because he has school tomorrow.
I want a child to nurture. To give my unbridled attention. To watch eat the food I’ve been making for years. He may not be the most grateful child on earth, but I will know that I have done my best. When all hope is lost, I can look to him and marvel at how I have created a beautiful life. In the face of the bad and ugly, I will encourage him to adopt a positive lookout on life like his mother, whether or not he is genetically inclined to be as cheerful as I. I want to show him the magic of reality and the magic of life.
…And all too vivid! Scares the heebee-jeebees out of me. Maybe this is one of the things that you don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking of. Though it is a pretty picture. A girl can dream, can’t she?