WHEN: 8:49 am EST, September 14th, 2013
WHERE: The bedroom of my apartment in Portland
FORMAT: DVD on a Dell Inspiron E1405
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Feeling bummed that I’m at the end of my vacation. It was fantastic, but work is looming ahead.
Usually when I watch The NeverEnding Story, I latch on to an object, person, or theme that has some obvious relevance to the film. This time I got pissed. At Bastian.
Don’t even try to play dumb.
When he nabbed that book from Mr. Koreander’s book shop, I wanted something awful to happen to him. I didn’t care that he’d just been beaten up or that his mother had died recently. He was just another little delinquent in need of some solid rules and a structured home life. It was another reminder of why I don’t want kids. Ever.
You see, I’m a 28-year-old person in possession of ovaries. Most people think that this means I will be a mother. Even worse, these lady bits mean that I’m supposed to want to be a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I work with children for a living and plan on things staying that way for some time. Kids are hilarious and imaginative. They ask really good questions and aren’t afraid to say what they’re thinking. But I don’t want to be a mommy at any point in my life.
The choice to raise a child is a major life decision. First, there’s money to consider. A child costs a lot of money from conception to college graduation and beyond. I don’t have money to spare and I want things for myself. I want to buy movies and comic books and go out to dinner. I couldn’t do that with a kid. Children are selfish little creatures taking up any disposable income their parents have. And I’m not very good at sharing.
Then there’s all that time you have to spend with a kid. Most intelligent parents want their children to become contributing members to society instead of serial killers. This means you have to invest time into teaching this sentient bag of DNA what’s right and wrong and how to count and shit.
Seriously, parents, potty train your kids.
I work with kids who are on the autism spectrum, so I also think about the stress of taking care of a kid with special needs (mental or physical). That’s a hard life for a parent and for the child. But I’ll never have to worry because I know that the only winning move is not to play. The same thing goes for raising teenagers.
I have had to deal with relatives and family friends asking when I plan on getting married (also never) and having some kids for years. I’m surrounded at work by people who are saving up maternity leave for a baby that hasn’t even been conceived yet. Society is pushing women to host a parasite that you then are forced to love once it has burst its way out of your vagina. There are no pros to having a child. Time magazine had a great feature on child-free couples and even my favorite Maine paper had a similar article. More and more women and men are deciding that parenting isn’t worth the trouble.
Which is why Bastian made me so angry when he swiped that book.
Police call this “evidence.”
Here’s a little boy who lives in a nice house and has all his basic needs met. His father needs a little help being a dad, but his mom must have contributed to his upbringing prior to her death. Between the two parents, Bastian appears to be a typical kid going through some hard times. I can empathize with that. But the pure probability that Bastian even came into existence should be enough to make him think of the repercussions of his actions. He is stealing! He has 186 books at home. He should go ask his dad for money to buy it. Or go to a library. I don’t want to ever have to deal with my hypothetical child stealing or skipping school or staying locked in an attic past his bedtime. And I never will. Thanks for putting another nail in that coffin for me, Bastian.