It seems every time I come home from VA there’s some revelation that suddenly dawns on me. This time… nothing as life-altering as possibly not wanting children but a there were a couple of nuggets…
1) I really like airports. I like watching people interact with each other… the farewell hugs and kisses, the reunion hugs and kisses. I could totally see why hanging out an airport all day long could be fun. You really do see quite a range of human emotion. It’s interesting the conversations you overhear once you’re at the gate or on the plane — people working tediously up til the flight takes off, people anxious to get where they’re going, people expounding more farewells. I especially love when there someone who was on the same long flight filled w/ crying babies, turbelence and long layovers– particularly the single parent of a young whiny child — waiting at baggage claim for what seems like a century before the damn thing even starts to move but upon seeing their better half, sometimes the kids they had to leave behind, every evidence of the grueling trip is erased from their faces. It’s actually pretty sweet. The whole experience is a great people-watcher experience. I love it!
2) It’s amazing to witness my niece and nephew learn and grow. How extraordinary it must be as a parent to know you imparted that knowledge and primed that mind to receive new information and take shape. My nephew who could barely furniture surf 6 mos ago was now running laps around the house. My niece, just turned two, is talking and gabbing in TWO languages (three if you include her make believe chitter chatter). I almost did a double-take when I heard her say to her baby sister in vietnamese something roughly translating to "hey sis, whatcha eating there?" How does a two year old possess the vocabularly to be so breezy and casual in her speech? It was the cutest thing! It clearly wasn’t something she learned by rote (like her parents teaching her to respond with "2" when asked how old she was–they worked on it apparently for a couple weeks before the big day and it paid off esp. since she responded in the respective language you asked her — she’s a smart little chicky!).
The younger ones are less the handfuls their older siblings were… I wonder if that’s because it just seems easier now that you’ve gone through it once already or if it’s just an innate adjustment to their environment that these young ones have learned knowing they’ll never successfully compete with their older siblings’ constant needy attention from their parents. It’s the youngest ones who end up being more independent, you know. 😉
3) These days everyone is so independent and typical gender roles are all blurry. Men cook and change diapers. Women work and fix cars. We no longer have all those boxes that bind us to a certain set of things we can and can’t do by artificial rules society imprints on us from the second the doctor slips on that pink or blue hat over our heads after our grand entrance into the world. Does that mean our reason for being together is more pure because we no longer have to rely on needing each other for the things that were once reserved for the opposite sex but instead choosing to be with someone we want in our lives not just someone we need? Women no longer need to marry just so they can have money, a house and a secure future. If that was the case, wouldn’t more marriages be successful and there be a lower divorce rate? So why the high divorce rate? Why is it that people are waiting longer to marry? Why can’t the Spears sisters find everlasting love?
Maybe all this independence, all these blurred gender roles, all this ability to fulfill our own needs means we finally have to figure out what we want and that’s always been much harder than knowing what we need. Maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe this new society we live in has created other needs we’re not aware of and as a result can’t find the right person to fill that need.
Anywho… I finished reading Kiln People… great book! Highly recommend it. Not sure what’s next on the book list… maybe I’ll grab randomly from a bag.