I decided in college, to the shock and awe of my Elementary Ed. friends, that I didn't want to have any kids. I love kids. I love to teach them. I love to play with them. I love to lead them. I love to hop them up on sugar and give them back to their parents with noisy toys on Christmas.
I am an aunt ten times over. I am truly madly deeply in love with my brother's four children. The day his first kid was born turned my world inside out. Here's the photographic evidence to prove it.
Not that there's anything wrong with having children. It's that something in me just knew that I wanted to spend my life's energy on other things. Travel, Education, Service of Others. I didn't want to (and still don't want to) be torn between the duties and joys of motherhood and My Life's Calling, whatever that means. (This may explain my current early mid-life crisis as, upon reflection, there has been woefully little travel and education, though I'm not doing too badly in the Service to Others department and that feels good.)
Here are some of the responses I've gotten from those who know and love me and complete strangers alike:
- You must be a lesbian. (nope.)
- You are a very angry person. (sometimes, but what's that to you?)
- You have a terrible mother. (emphatic nope. see my Sugar Sugar blog http://karinleak.blogspot.com/.)
- You must have children. God says so. (I've clarified with people. The Bible indicates that God told all the creepy crawly things to be fruitful and multiply just after creation. Okay, I get that. Then again to Adam and Eve. Be fruitful and multiply. Okay, sure. Then once more to Noah and his family after the Great Flood. Really, people. I don't think under population is an issue anymore.)
- You'd make a great mother. (Thanks, but I'd like to sleep sometime in the next 20 years.)
- You're selfish. (You are so right. You know me so well.)
- Not even one? (WTF? No. Not even one.)
- You should at least have a boy. (The feminist in me rages. A Chinese friend of mine said that her name means, "Well, the next one will be a boy." Aaaaarrrrrrgh!!! Nevermind that you can't force the baby to be a boy or a girl, or that I'd prefer a girl if I had to have one at all.)
The only thing that sometimes, but sadly does not always, flick people's noses out of my business is when I tell them, "I'm happy with my life the way it is."
"O-kaaaay," they skeptically say. Then they add, "You're sure? Not even one?"
What about you? Kids? No kids? Greatest Aunt/Uncle ever?
And, as always, my follow up question, the one that makes life worth living: Why?