Kidlets, or the Lack Thereof

has reunited me with many people from my past, including several from high school I hadn’t been in touch with since the evening of my graduation or earlier. Some of them have remained friends since that time, some of them were friends until we lost touch, and some were never more than mere acquaintances. Of these acquaintances, I’m vaguely curious about hearing where those people are in the world, but that’s about all.

As I acquired these Facebook friends, my friends update page started filling with profile photos of women’s large bellies, hundreds of snapshots from various toddler birthdays, idyllic (and completely unbelievable) family portraits of my acquaintances and their new families in matching sweaters, status updates about breastfeeding, results posted for the quiz “How many babies will you have?,” and more.

At one point, I updated my status to “Heather is amused at family portraits with matching sweaters” or something similar. And sadly, one of these acquaintances, who must have thought I was talking about her specifically, chose not to be my friend anymore!

Really though, I’ve never been much of a kid person. When I “catch up” with many of these same high school people, they often (especially if they’re female) ask if I’m married and/or have any children. Which probably proves we were never really friends, or they were never really paying attention. Of course offering back a simple “no” without editorial comment is a lot easier than delving into why I don’t really love children (except yours, of COURSE!), or my support for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Or daring to say that I have never wanted to sacrifice my career or happiness for children. Or all the other things I could say that would be even more honest.

Instead of the brutal and unpopular truth, I’ve tried to become more accustomed to being around my friends’ offspring, remaining mostly open to new kid experiences. Some of these kids are great–I can sit and converse with them without wanting to tear out my hair. Other kids, not so much.

This adjustment has been mostly out of necessity, because it seems that almost all my peers are having children. I’m continually befuddled why they are doing this, but in the meantime, it helps make me slightly more socially acceptable.



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2 responses to “Kidlets, or the Lack Thereof

  1. Wow. Thanks for your comments. My sweetie and I aren’t ready to sign on for voluntery human extinction — we spent four years and a ton of money trying to have kids and it didn’t work out. Then we couldn’t afford adoption, and by then I was entering my late 40’s and knew I didn’t want to be pushing fifty and the mother of an infant. Our window of sensibility closed and we realized we’d be childless, another series of emotional ups and downs in itself.

    It has been hard hanging out with our friends’ kids, harder still to see the growing gap between us and those of our friends whose lives revolve around young children. Although the pain has lessened in intensity it is still difficult to listen to our friends prattle on about their mostly spoiled and overindulged children and to feel their occasional expectation hanging in the air that we should find ways to make more room in our lives for their children.

    The class issues, the medical issues and a host of other unresolved and undiscussable things is one part of why I avoid Facebook and other real-time social networking sites. I would prefer not to have to encounter people from my past and deal with Their Kids.

    Thanks again for your honesty.

  2. Pingback: Sweetpea Journey #3: All Mixted Up « bookish

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