Kids – why have them

After I spoke with my mother last night I had an overwhelming urge to talk to Keith. 

I asked him, “Don’t have to answer this instant, but if there’s one behaviour about myself that I could change that you think would make me a better person and a better parent, what would it be?”  He said he’d think about it and get back to me, and then he asked me a question that floored me.

We had an amazing conversation (at one point he asked me if I was crying, and I replied somewhat irritably, of course, because of course I cry when I talk about emotional subjects!  I’m perimenopausal AND a drama queen).  Most of the contents of the conversation are private, but I talked to him about how I felt when I had just given birth to him and looked at him and realized that it was my job to get him to the point where he didn’t need me any more.  At all.  Unless he wanted to need me.  He might have been little and helpless and wet (at that point he hadn’t even been bathed for the first time because Paul hit the roof when he found out they wanted to cleanse his infant in Hibitane – bleeaaaaagh, that’s so gross – so we bathed him after we got him home) but he wouldn’t stay that way. Nope.

Keith asked, was it obvious I wasn’t neurotypical, and I said, o yes, from the days when he spent hours spinning the pedals on Paul’s bike in the front hall.  But I didn’t expend a lot of energy in either worrying about it or trying to change it.  He hit his developmental milestones except for social stuff, and temperamentally he was Mr. Easy.  Easily spooked, but easily delighted. Affectionate, clever, dreamy.  Not exactly the guy to get into trouble, and after he started karate (thank YOU, Dr. Filk) he was tempered somehow, and more disciplined, and more likely to do the right thing when he didn’t feel like it.  Now he can’t conceive of life without the dojo.

We talked about the big bustup.  We talked about feelings; compared notes about the events and were both surprised and perplexed at how the same thing can happen to two people and their interpretation of it vary so much.  After I hung up the phone, still sniffing slightly, I thought. That’s why you have kids.  The biological drive herds you into a corner and you have a baby, and you do all the things society expects you to, but the reason you have kids is because there will be somebody who knows you and loves you who will bloody well TALK to you, not taking no for an answer, asking the hard questions.  And I thought, I am so glad my mother will learn that the trickle down of her being into genealogy is how it’s affected Keith.  He knows that the elders, they are not around forever and so he’s asking questions now, that he may understand, and understanding, live a better life.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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