Monday, May 11, 2009

Other People's Kids

Whether you decided to have children or not to have children, chances are you have strong opinions on the subject. So I'm expecting a lot of response to my Graduation Day column that went live on the UU World web site this morning.

Here's the abstract: About two decades ago, my wife and I decided not to have children. Sixteen years ago I wrote an essay explaining why. Next month our friends' daughter -- a wonderful young woman we've been watching closely for 18 years -- is going to graduate from high school. What do I think about our decision now? The stuff I said 16 years ago -- does it still make any sense?

As usual, the World web site doesn't allow you to attach comments to articles. So you can comment here.

BTW: If you come to the article from UU World's Life section, you'll see the blurb illustrated by a photo of a young woman. It's not the real Meg, who (with apologies to the woman in the photo) actually looks better than that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that article. I found it very interesting.
My story is very different from yours. I decided when I was two that I didn't want to have any children. I never changed my mind. When I finally got married for the first time at the age of 48 (ok, it was a week before 49...), I married someone with two boys, 6 and 7, and joint custody. They're 17 and 18 now. I love the boys and am pretty involved in their lives, but I still would rather have had no kids. Our best friends have a little girl who's two. I try to have a relationship with her, but the truth is, I don't much like the company of kids. All the cute little things that most people think are so much fun, I mostly experience as painful. I hated being a kid myself, and haven't forgotten. It mystifies me that people can look at kids and think that childhood is a happy time.

Catherine Gaw said...

I'm glad I finally took the time to read your article! I think that the choice to have children is like so many other choices we make. There are pros and cons, whether you are dealing with jobs, locations, lovers... Often, there is no right or wrong decision, there is just dealing with the repercussions of those decisions, good and bad.
As for myself, I still believe I could have been perfectly fine had things occurred differently and we hadn't decided to have kids. I love the little buggers, but I certainly don't think parenthood is a prerequisite for happiness.

Sarah said...

I just read your article and essay and they are tremendous food for thought. I'm at a point in life where I need to think this through myself. Thanks for posting!