A Rambling on Parenthood

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(BluePrints Staff Photo // Dustin Braden)

BY: NICK BYGRAVE

“Great. Now he’s written something on a topic about something he couldn’t possibly know anything about. What an idiot.” Well,  theoretical person who has a problem with my ramblings, I’m not going to talk about my experiences as a parent, because I’m not one. I’m going to talk about what I think parenthood means, what it does and doesn’t do, and whether or not it’s a good idea (for you).

I’ll start out by saying that I unashamedly would prefer to have a son over a daughter. I have this decided solely because I have never been able to comprehend women, and I doubt I would be a good role model for an adolescent-developing one. I can’t imagine a beer-bellied whatever-I-become, with an interest in stand up comedy and cars that spit fire and not much else, would make a suitable teacher or guardian to girl dealing with dolls or a teenager dealing with asshole boyfriends. I’m certain I would love her just as much as boy, and deep down I might prefer it in the long run (historically less troublesome). Nonetheless, if I’m going to talk about this topic in depth, I’m going to go ahead and allow myself some comfort to refer to my child as a “he”.

You may have noticed that it doesn’t sound like I’d be a good parent. That’s because you’re right. That may change as I grow older, but as of now, I could offer the wisdom and advice of a schizophrenic homeless man. It also scares me to think that if I where to reproduce, that their would be little Nick Bygraves running around, banging their heads on things and breaking neighbors’ flower pots. Nobody wants that. So, I’ve decided that if in the future I want to have children, it will be entirely based on whether or not my wife (I like saying ‘my wife’, makes me feel accomplished) would make a good mother. One possible fault of mine is that I would like to be the “cool dad”, which would  1, mean I have to become cool on some level and 2, mean that my poor wife would have to play the bad cop. I’d foolishly offer ice cream for breakfast, thinking I live in a ABC Family sitcom, and she would be the one cooking eggs while I eat the now abandoned bowls of Moose Trax. I imagine, assuming that I don’t change much between now and then, that I would get along swimmingly with young children. We laugh at most of the same things and watch the same shows, crave the same food and perform at a similar math level.

In addition to the fear of being a poor father, I feel a reasonable thing to worry about when considering parenthood is how it will effect the marriage. After all, just because a woman can deal with your snoring and the fact that her parents still haven’t quite gotten over her choice in husbands, doesn’t mean she can deal with a crying, vomiting toddler. What if having a child doesn’t bring the two of us together, but rather tear us apart? It probably happens more times then I’m told. Part of that separation I think can come from the complete and unending attention a child requires until “adulthood”, whatever age they decide to mentally reach it (which could be anywhere from 14 to 40). I have it in my head that your own life is completely put on hold for the 18-odd years that you’ve decided to nurture and educate a human being with your last name (unless the divorce didn’t come out in your favor). It is in many ways, the most selfless thing you can do.

That being said, I also cringe in the knowledge that there are so many factors in raising a child that could go wrong. And I don’t mean small stuff like will he exercise regularly or recycle. I mean life-ruining yet perfectly possible instances. What if during adolescence he experiences or witnesses a traumatic event that will scar him until death. What if he is involved in car accident that kills the others involved? What if he never finds love and dies alone? What if he becomes a father before he has a steady job or relationship? What if he becomes a drug addict, or even worse, a dealer. What if he grows up to be a serial killer?

Apologies for getting a bit serious/terrified in those last few theoretical situations. I started to feel genuine fear and anxiety for my non-existent son. It probably wasn’t smart for me to dissect such a common topic with paranoia and pessimism. I’ll have to someday accept the fact that I could give my son fantastic, educated and insightful advice, and he could still turn out to be a murderer. At the end of the day, it is what he decides to do with his influences and teachings that make him who he is, whether I was the source or not. Guess I’ll do what every decent parent does: wing it and hope for the best.

There is much more I’ve thought about and haven’t covered, but this rambling is really damn long isn’t it? It’s 2:40 am. Enough for one night.