Why I Can Have Kids Or A Professional Life (But Not Both) Part II

My dad nodded.

“Well, what would you do instead?”

At the moment, I really wish “freeload off of your retirement and hang around reading books and writing until my life suddenly falls into place” was a possible answer.

If you were wondering, it’s not.

“I don’t know,” I mused. “Maybe something government-y.”

My dad commended this thought, and he said something else, to which I nodded politely and drank more coffee, still ruing the fact that for some reason I had expected this brew to have a slight roasted hazelnut taste, rather than the bland bottom-of-the-Folger’s-container taste (for the record, we were having coffee at a bar, so I can’t really blame the establishment for their lack of cultured and fresh coffee).

“If I start a career after graduating, you realize I won’t have any kids for at least twelve years from now, right?” I said suddenly. My dad stopped. I’d mentioned that topic.


Again, this is another reason why being an only child sucks. Not only can you not do anything really fun like skydiving or owning a motorcycle or surfing because those things have a slight chance of maiming or killing you, but grandchildren. I think there has to be some biological reason why parents are never truly happy until they have a grandchild. It’s like, somehow, grandchildren mean that some portion of their genes will live on eternally, no matter if the kid in question ever wants to grow up and get married and have kids of his or her own. It’s just automatically assumed that grandchildren mean my genes live on and will someday RULE THE UNIVERSE.

My parents are really hung up on the thought of having grandkids. It’s been my mother’s stock way of saying “no” since I was a kid myself.

“Mom, can I learn to surf?”

“Not until I have grandchildren.”

“Mom, my friends are going on a trip to San Francisco. Can I go?”

“Not until I have grandchildren.”

“Mom, I think I want a motorcycle.”

“Not until I have grandchildren.”

“Can I have a cookie?”

“Not until I have grandchildren.”

(Okay, okay. She’s not quite that bad.)

Thus, I’m sure my father was not just thinking about his own desire to have grandkids, but also what it would be like to watch my mother realize that it wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

“You’ll be in your late thirties then,” he said.

“I know.”

“It gets a lot harder to have kids once you get into your thirties.”

I sighed and flopped back against a pillow.

“I know.”

How well I knew. But what was there to do? The idea of having kids in the next few years, just so that I had them, seems distasteful. Beside, I want to raise my own kids, not pay to farm them out to surrogate caretakers.

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0 Responses to Why I Can Have Kids Or A Professional Life (But Not Both) Part II

  1. Seems to me a handsome husband would come first…I know I may be a bit old fashioned. You can have both…but it isn’t easy. Being a Grandma is one of the best thing that has ever happened to me….someday you will understand:)

  2. IntenseGuy says:

    Far Side of Fifty brings up a point… 🙂

    Also, while it is nice that you wish to please your parents – your life is just that – YOUR life, so factor in a large dose of “what do I want to do?” Smiles.

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