My brother’s family recently celebrated the arrival of a baby boy, which, being good Catholics, is not so much a once-in-a-lifetime miracle as an annual rite of passage, like the Super Bowl.
It’s still special, but this is their fifth kid in six years, which is the same rate that the NHL has been handing out Stanley Cups. As baby makers go, they’re a dynasty, a team of destiny.
Meanwhile, I’m not even making the playoffs. I’ve always loved kids, but I have it on good authority from reliable sources that, in most cases, a woman is required, for what I assume are legal reasons.
My wife and I separated partially because I changed my mind and decided that I did in fact want children. You can compromise about a lot of things when you’re married, but it’s difficult to have half a child. “We’ll just have the top half, dear. Less mess.”
And as my (lovely) ex said once, “This is serious. It’s not like we differ on strawberries.”
So we parted ways. I moved to a bachelor pad, she moved to the Middle East, which I suspect says something about how well I handled everything. In my defence, she did not move to Mount Merapi, the Marianas Trench, or the moon.
And now I work toward the goal of a child by 40.
I’ve got a lot of work to do, because you can’t just suddenly christen yourself a parent at random if your name isn’t Angelina Jolie, who adopts children with the same frequency the Knights of Columbus adopt highways.
I’d prefer to have a child as part of a family, which means I’ll have to get over this crippling post-divorce fear of commitment. Right now I date, get comfortable, then I hear the word “relationship,” and I run away so fast I leave a Road Runner dust trail behind me and stare back from a distance, big cartoon eyes blinking in the darkness. I know it’s safe to come back down when I hear the entire female gender simultaneously breathe the word, “Men.”
But I have a biological clock of sorts. I don’t like the idea of being so much older than my child that I can’t teach, relate, or play. I don’t want to be in the position where we’re both wearing diapers.
So, I’ll start thinking about a child just as soon as I stop acting like one. And if things don’t work out, I’ll ask Angelina if she has any extra.