If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it awesome: this is my creed.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had a serious choice to make. I have no moral, religious, or political objection to abortion, and since news of my pregnancy was such a huge shock (at a time when my partner and I were unsure if we were able to handle the financial and emotional stress of raising a child), abortion was a very real possibility for us.
The reasons we decided against abortion are unimportant at this juncture. The important thing is that we decided to have a baby. We made a conscious decision to bring another human being into a world that is, in our opinion, already pretty over-populated, and is over-flowing with assholes, jerks, and selfish morons.
For us, this was a pretty radical move… largely because whilst we have a general contempt for a lot of the general population, we still have a crazily optimistic outlook on life, love, art, the environment, and the world in general. Basically, we hung our hopes on the possibility that we might create someone with the same selfless, funny, creative personalities that we have, and that might be a worthwhile prospect.
When I look back, however, I kind of regret that perspective. Not the decision to keep and raise our child — not at all. But the perspective that because we view ourselves as relatively awesome people, that we’ll be on Easy Street, and will immediately walk out of the hospital with a brilliant, funny, intelligent little person. I now realise that it won’t be that way, at all. Brilliant people aren’t magically created by two other brilliant people… they take work. A lot of work. So rather than regret the decision to have a baby, or regress back to a place of worry or concern about being a parent, I’ve decided to do the opposite. I’ve decided to become a superhero.
For the longest time, I’ve always thought I was missing something in my life. I’m bright, creative, witty and clever, and it seemed like I could never hold down a decent job or really live up to my potential. I never understood why. I used to blame emotional issues from my upbringing or traumatic teenage years for lack of being able to tangibly find a reason for my continual fuck ups. But I think I finally get it… I was placing so much energy in trying to be this important part of the world, without having the confidence or education or know-how to succeed in my endeavours. So instead, I’m going to be the most important thing in HER world, in my kid’s universe. I’m 26, and I hereby dedicate my life to the notion that one person CAN make a difference — and I’ll be making a difference in the life of my kid.
No challenge will be too great, and no opportunity will go squandered. I will research and study the best ways to educate, inspire and connect with my child. We’ll laugh and play and be silly, but also learn and explore and challenge ourselves, and the world around us. She’ll have the best schooling around, not because we choose to send her to an expensive private school, but because I will inject myself into her education, helping and expanding and sharing her journey. She’ll have the best creative inspiration that I can provide, because I will share with her the amazing art and music and film that has inspired me during my life, and that continues to inspire me. She’ll crave knowledge, because I’ll ensure she knows that knowledge is power and knowledge is love.
Am I still scared of screwing up? Absolutely. But not because I don’t think I can do this. I’m scared because I KNOW I can do this, and that I have to do this, and forcing yourself into a new and unfamiliar frame of mind can be pretty terrifying. But ultimately, this goes beyond me. This goes beyond my own fears and desires. I CHOSE TO DO THIS. Having a child is a CHOICE, not a right. And if you make that choice, you have an obligation to step up and make that person your priority. So that’s what I’m doing.
I will be tired sometimes, maybe all the time. I might be stressed, or anxious, or worried. I may even get angry on occasion. But ultimately, I know it’s for the greater good. At the end of the day, or week, or month, or year, I’ll know that my efforts will reward me with that funny, brilliant, intelligent, creative little person I always assumed I’d have.
I’m hoping her decision involves being an astronaut though. That’d be so radical.