“This is an awful book,” he informs her. “It makes parents cry. Do not use this as a parenting guide.”
Love You Forever screwed me up for life.
Well, for twenty-three years of it. Which is really about as much as I can remember. My baby days are a tangle of skeleton dreams and existential panic: SOMEDAY MY PARENTS WILL BE GONE.
You’re not supposed to think about that at three. You’re supposed to wait until you hit at least your mid-twenties and all of your grandparents are dead, as far as anyone can tell. All six of them. And the most recent was the closest and oh, lord, you’re the last of your line now. The last, with no desire to perpetuate it.
— I think that’s the only thing I’ll regret about not having kids. Mother to mother to mother, I’m the last, and I have to be the last because a) if Microgestin is affecting me this badly, what would pregnancy do and b) genetically, the rest of the lines appear to have left me a complete disaster, so. Probably shouldn’t inflict this mess on another kid unless the father has goddamn angelic DNA.
Maybe if I get really lonely in my old age, I’ll take in an orphan girl. Children (older than babies, older than toddlers, real, abandoned, lost-all-hope children) will still want parents in fifty years.
On some level, though, on some level I have always been too aware. SOMEDAY MY PARENTS WILL BE GONE. Logic dictates that no, my grandmother’s death did not bring my parents closer to their own. That’s still how it feels. And if I hate that my man and I only have about thirty, thirty-five more years, I object with all the rage in the universe that my parents and I will be parted well before that.
The evolution of the nuclear family provides a buffer. You marry, you have kids of your own, you’re going to have lots of people to cushion the blow when it comes. Not me. No kids. No safe little dyad. Maybe a household of some kind, and “nieces” and “nephews”. Nothing is truly certain. My birth control could fail tomorrow; he could knock me up and get killed and I wouldn’t be able to abort the poor bastard because, hi, all I have left of him. Like Winona Kirk but not as brave and as far from intentional as Sydney from New York. Probably sedated until postpartum.
And the refusal of human beings to age with grace, clinging instead to the appearance of youth well into their dotage, this strips the buffer away. Because how do you reconcile “nice tush” with “he must be seventy”? Or “where are her wrinkles”, ditto? And how do you pick someone for love and for life when your visual this-person-will-die-in-X-years cues no longer exist?
Because love is not as transient or transferable as irresponsible authors would have you think. Mine isn’t. My love’s like sourdough. It begins from one little hunk of flour and yeast and if I treat it just right, I’ll bake love after love out of nearly nothing. Years of love that should’ve gone bad after a month. I can do that. Or I can let it die. Mostly I bake it and it grows. So I can’t really console myself with “I’ll find people after”. With “I’ll find enough people before, and they will outlast me”, yes. But without anyone to love me, I will die like a dog moping after its master, fading into nothing. You see it’s imperative that I keep baking.
Give me a household, universe. Give me enough love to sustain me until my last appointed hour. Then don’t let me leave anyone behind alone. I don’t care that I’m the last except that I’ll be alone. Don’t let me do that to anyone else.
Quote by waldorph, from Punch It. Give it a read, even if you aren’t a rabid Trek fangirl.