I forget how the conversation began, but somehow the topic of marriage surfaced while running errands around town with my kids. My youngest chimed in first, I have friends that are girls, but not girlfriends, he said. I assured him that at 6 years of age, he had plenty of time to find the perfect girl for him. He agreed.
My daughter then chimes in with “I want to get married but am NEVER going to have babies.” You have to understand the background on this view first to fully appreciate her point of view. I’ve recently had “The Talk” with her and somewhere during the question and answer session I scarred her for life by giving a true life account of what childbirth was like with a failed epidural. What? I know, I know, bad idea, but my intentions were not to scar her but rather to put the fear of God into her to keep her from even thinking of engaging in activity that could lead to epidural failing childbirth.
Stop judging, it is so unflattering and gives you forehead wrinkles.
So, on to my (all of a sudden opinionated) son, who begins by saying that he looks forward to getting married and starting a family. I’m glad, because at this point it seems I will be getting no grandkids from his sister. He goes on to say the he is glad that he would not have to stay home to “watch the kids” (as if we just supervise from afar). I told him that in some families, it IS the father who stays home to raise the kids and asked him why he wouldn’t want to. He looked perplexed and said that he would NEVER want to because “that is much too hard and it is so much easier to just go to work.”
Setting myself up for flattery, I ask him what gave him the idea that it was so hard raising children. Let me just say that I expected a response that included the affirmation or recognition of the last 12 years I have invested in raising my kids. Recognition of the hours I spend daily teaching life lessons, demonstrating acceptable behavior, nursing sick children, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, sport coaching, volunteering and the thousands of other things I do that I think deserve to be recognized.
That is not what I got. Not even close.
He explained that while watching an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, yes, Spongebob Squarepants where Spongebob and Patrick were caring for a baby clam, he learned all he needed to know about how hard it was to raise kids. Patrick had it easy while Spongebob had earned more mothering credit in one 30 minute cartoon than I had from my son in all of his almost 11 years of life.
Go figure. Spongebob is hereby banned for the Summer, if only for stealing my thunder.