extremely loud and incredibly tiny

26 May

A few years ago, I got a bit of advice from someone. I was wanting a baby and he’d just had one. His wife had just had one, whatever. He lamented his loss of freedom, which, if you knew this person, would not seem like much of a sacrifice. He is dull, kind of, and doesn’t go out much. I don’t mean either of those statements to be insulting; I doubt that he’d argue.
His advice, despite seemingly valid complaints about the whole thing, was to dupe someone into having a baby with me. “Poke holes in the condoms,” he said. “And name the baby after me.” He said in subsequent conversations that despite the hassle and filth and sleeplessness and downgrade you will undoubtedly take in the eyes of your childless friends, it was totally worth it…probably. There was always some amount of hedging, and I thought I understood why at the time. People without children can guess at the trials of parenthood. I assumed that it was something like a 60/40 split with sweetness barely edging out the numerous undesirables that come with babies, with caretaking, with making oneself totally reliable, or as reliable as one can possibly be.
But he was so wrong. So totally wrong. I haven’t talked to him in a year. He has been busy being an intellectual and I was gestating, then recovering, then caring for this tiny alien that took over my life.

You guys, he was wrong! It’s like a 99/1 split. I have almost emailed him about a thousand times to say look. You must be doing it different, because this rules. But I haven’t. Because sometimes people are more comfortable in your past than your present. I realized something, however, when I was thinking about the stories I can tell George about the people mama used to know, the things I did when I was young. The advice I took that led to him (I didn’t dupe anyone, but figured out that if I had to consider it, I should maybe move on). While I didn’t name him after you, J., I gave him your favorite name. The one you said was vetoed and relegated to your dog. Ha ha.

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