Yesterday, the Steven and I spent an hour on College drinking coffee, reading and watching the world waltz by. When standing up for a second round, a tall hip young man was in line ahead of me. On the back of his tee shirt were the words "Your Children Are Not Special." These words must have affronted every yuppie parent on College Avenue that afternoon.
In our other separate lives, The Steven and I had both considered children but never found the proper circumstance, opportunity, partner. With each other we considered it only briefly, resolving that we could not resolve the dual mis-firing chemistry into enough optimism to be decent parents. A vasectomy soon followed and the reproductive mechanics were relieved of yet another chemical to ingest. It's been bliss to live without a body just aching to betray me.
The family who lives next door has three spectacular children: ages 6 (P.), 4 (M.) and 1.5 (Z.). They can holler, hoot and sing all day long. There is no fighting or pointless tantrums, no screaming. It's nothing but happy happy sound. I go out on our tree-top deck and watch them crawl on the roof of their playhouse and use their swingset in manners not recommended by the manufacturer. They wave and ask questions about my housecleaning tiara and want to help fold my laundry. They are the most fearless, loved and uncoddled people I have met. I am a huge fan.
Three things have been occurring: my mechanics have begun to slow; I will not be sad to be rid of the whole nasty mess. The second is how the passage of time is marked in generations and missed opportunity. Not a sad thought, but maybe that's the Lexapro talking.
The third would be stash reduction, which to the non-knitter means I am using up a lot of yarn as quickly as possible. The solution: baby hats: about two dozen so far and at least one more added every day. On a weekend I can get out four. Most are preemie hats, but they have gradually become more elaborate and are undergoing experiments in crazy embroidery, lace and fantastic tassles. It's been years since I've toyed with cables and it requires attention and wacky moves I have yet to polish into smooth undulations but I am careful and try to pay attention to what I am creating and why.
Not every baby is wanted or loved or will live to have a full life of their own and this is what I think about as each hat finishes. The world doesn't seem to be ready for every entrance and a few of them should have something of their own waiting for them. Even if it's got purple lace and a tinkly bell hidden in the corner.
It's not a gift for an expectant parent, this isn't a hospital give-away, a contrition or a donation. This is for you, from me. Good luck.