Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's with these kids today??? (and their parents)

Reading this entry over at Dom Bettinelli's reminded me . . . on Friday we went to see an OB/GYN at the local fertility clinic. I told her we had already discussed things and were cool with "whatever kind of baby we end up with, if we end up with a baby" (i.e., if it has Downs or other issues, I won't get an abortion). She was like, okay, don't have to get into that, then -- like it was a bit of a relief. On the way home husband and I talked some more, as we have lately, about the sheer unwillingness of modern parents to have children that are less than perfect. In the first world, and increasingly in the third world, we demand that children be utile, that they at least be able to "perform", to earn their own keep once they reach their majority, if not take care of us as well. There is no room for the deformed, of any kind, because they are not obviously productive to their families or to society. Of course, Mr. Musings has a grown sister with Downs (she's the same age as I am - 35), and I've volunteered with folks with various disabilities, so we've both seen that these people do in fact indirectly contribute to society -- but not in any ways that can be measured by the yardsticks of worldly success and achievement.

Well, this is not terribly new - parents always want healthy children, which new mother or father cries, "Oh, autism! Just what I was hoping for!" or some similar? But today it is worse, because parents in middle- and upper-etc.-class families, seem to focus on one or two wonderful, adorable, perfect little ones who can do no wrong. These children are starved of things they do need (authority, free time, unconditional love, stable families) and stuffed with things they don't (money and things, over-scheduled activities and "experiences", parents as friends, familial instability - these are all just examples). Parents seem to think that children need things that are at best "wants", while not even deigning to provide things that once would have been thought essential. At least we "latch-key" kids of Gen-X had free time, and I think Gen Y'ers did too. But what are these Britney'd and Justin'ed turn-of-the-millenium kids going to turn out like?

Or, as I told my husband, "Yeah, I must be turning 35 - 'Hey, these darn kids today!'"

But, still, I am serious. The other part of it is that parents have just forgotten what the whole point of getting married and having a family is -- having babies. I mean, if you're going to have one, why not have two? And if you're going to have two, why not three? And if three, why not four . . . (I've heard three toddlers is the worst it gets, it improves from there). I'm not saying everyone should have 20 kids, but my husband is the oldest of 15, and they are a pretty decent brood, with lots of kids themselves, it makes you think how pathetically onanistic modern "family" life is today. And I'm just talking about secular people, I'm not even addressing us Catholics!

Well, anyway, happy birthday to me (after midnight).

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Blogger Doogie said...

Happy birthday Meg!

We got 3 girls (5, 4, and 1) and one currently percolating, so I'm looking forward to the "getting easier" part. :D

I just love shocking people by saying, "I want 11 kids, but my wife only wants 10, so we're going to have to come to an agreement at some point."

That's how you put liberal jaws on the floor. Welcome to the culture of life!

8/28/2006 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

Three toddlers really are the worst. It's true. I nearly lost my marbles. After that things got much smoother, and this coming from a gal expecting #8 in October, just a few weeks before the oldest turns thirteen. We still have a houseful, but something just clicked somewhere along the way and it got easier.

The whole perfect child thing ticks me off, too. My soon-to-be teenager is a brilliant kid with special needs-- global and speech apraxia, and possibly Asperger's on top of it. He wouldn't meet any yuppie parent's definition of the perfect child, and it saddens me that in the future it's likely children like him will be identifiable in the womb and destroyed.

8/31/2006 03:27:00 PM  

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