I don’t have children. I never will. I’m okay with that though sometimes I feel like our culture isn’t. I’ve received the lectures on the benefits of having kids, the supposed glue it forms inside marriages, all while the person laments their lost life pre-children. Like many people, I’m the product of a divorce but I’ve always been okay with my parents divorcing. Even as a kid I was cool with it. I watched divorce ruin some friends and I watched it make some friends tougher. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Some do. Having kids together will not guarantee a strong relationship, a fact lost on many people. Relationships, like life are a gamble that take hard work. I’m sure kids are hard work – hell it’s a full time job as I’ve seen with friends raising them. I was lucky enough to have two really cool parents who did the best they could for my brother and I. I don’t remember them fighting like I’d seen with friend’s parents who hated each other. My folks divorced and seemed to move on with their lives. As an adult with some life experience now I’m sure there was drama but they did a damned good job at keeping my brother and I from it.
Back to Father’s Day and being a childless adult in America. It is odd how folks will give you unsolicited advice on some life you’re supposedly missing out on by not having kids. Being an observer to some people’s lives I’m not so sure I am missing out. I’m sure parenthood sometimes returns its time invested back in dividends, that’s if your kid isn’t a piece of shit. Even good parents can have shitty kids, some of ya’ll need to admit that to yourselves. A few weeks ago I was cornered in a conversation and asked about why I don’t have children. My initial response was to scream, “MOTHERFUCKER IT AIN’T YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS YOU NOSY ASSHOLE!” but I didn’t. I explained why and I thought that was sufficient until I got The Lecture. As always, I smiled, nodded, and listened. After it was over I went back to my childless life just as happy as I was before twenty minutes of listening about a life I’ll never experience. I went back to being able to drop everything and bug out for a weekend to wherever my wife and I damn well please. I went back to a life of not having to save for a college education that most likely won’t guarantee a great job for Junior. I went back to my life. The life I am lucky enough to live with a woman who, after 17 years, makes my heart skip when I see her smile. I went back to going home to my dogs and my cats and sleeping through the night. I went back to making my way through life with beautiful woman next to me, content without kids.
On Father’s Day I went fishing with my wife and Finn. I called my dad, my step-dad, and my grandfather afterwards. All three men have helped me become who I am today and for that, I am eternally grateful.