When my wife and I had been married two years, people would ask me, “How long have you been married?” I’d hold up a pair of fingers and reply, “Two,” take a slight pause, and continue “long.”
While holding my baby boy, people would walk up to me and say, “How many children do you want?” I’d look at them somberly and reply, “None.”
Then there were six
Ah, those fun days were ten years and six children ago. I now walk through life with four sons and two daughters, ages ten years to three months.
This, of course, makes me something of a freak to contemporary ways of thinking. To mitigate this, I tell people, when asked how many children I have: “Four, plus two daughters to do the housework.”
Some people take offense. Maybe sexism isn’t funny, but neither are infanticide or divorce, but that didn’t prevent me from making those deadpan comments (implying the wish for both) during the early years of my marriage.
But hey, sex is fun and my wife gets pregnant a lot. We take the chance.
Some people scoff: “Strap on a condom,” or “Get snipped.”
“Naw,” I say, “I don’t like condoms and I don’t wanna get welded. Besides, I got the system beat: I’m going to limit my sexual activity to prostitutes.” That’s funny stuff, and it dodges the larger questions at issue.
People tell me I’m out-of-step with the times.
Lust for sense
I don’t think I am. In fact, I’m goose-steppin’. For the past thirty years, people have been willing to risk out-of-wedlock pregnancy, abortion, AIDS, genital herpes, etc. and etc. and etc. for sex.
I too take a risk—more children. By comparison, my risk is pretty mild.
My risk also conforms with the fun. Whereas some contemporary culture-ites risk emotional and physical misery and death for sex, I risk, what? Money. Big deal. Time. I have enough time after family obligations for reading, writing, and beer.
Overall, my risk is minimal.
And the upside is great, for here’s the real kicker: The kick of sex gives me more kicks.
For that’s what the children are: kicks. Sure, they’re responsibilities. But first, right out of the chute, they’re fun.
Now, I disdain the married-with-everything folks who tend to view child-rearing as another experience on the Lifetime Self-fulfillment Checklist. The premise of that mindset is rooted in self-regard, which is the exact opposite of the attitude that’s needed for a good family.
Nonetheless, they have a point: Kids are fun.
And it makes sense that they’d be fun. After all, they came from sex.