Recently while on my yearly December sojourn back to my home state of Kansas to hunt, I was driving along minding my own business when I saw a billboard proclaiming “It’s not a child, but a choice.”
Now seeing a billboard is not that unusual as you drive but minding my own business could be considered an oddity.
However as I contemplated the message and possible meaning I said to myself, “Self, whomever wrote that is definitely lacking in child-rearing experience.”
I guess maybe it’s written about choosing to have a child which is rarely the man's decision anyway or about some other hotbed of social agenda. But when I read those words I had to reflect on just exactly what having a child means.
Now I remember the days when Ol' Dutch was going along happy as a lark, footloose and fancy free, fishing and hunting, living in a small house with small bills with all the time in the world. I did what I wanted and seemed to be content.
So to foul that up I got married as a young man and soon learned that I was not content because I didn't have a big house and yard with big bills to take care of. I am not sure how those facts slipped by me while I was single but they sure were brought to light by my beloved.
I finally settled into that routine and things were going along great again when suddenly news of a baby was sprung on me. Now I realize that having a baby is reason to rejoice especially when it’s someone else that's having it.
So for nine months things were still pretty good, and I got to hunt and fish and do my own thing mostly and life had finally settled down for me once again. The day finally arrived when our child was born and I can tell you this, from that day on Ol' Dutch's choices disappeared.
Suddenly I was saddled with new responsibilities and a new boss in the house when I had just got the other one used to my inconsistencies and oddities and lack of feminine attributes. And this new 8lb bundle of joy would not reason with me.
Why she could not wait for a diaper change or food until I got back from a hunt or the lake or coffee I never could understand.
I had been hornswoggled by a conniving woman into something I just was not ready for. Oh I know I was there for the actual creation of this gift but let me tell you something, a man can be talked into almost anything at those moments and I really don’t think my opinion was considered.
Barely had I got this little one up and going when another “blessing” came into our lives and from then on Ol' Dutch has not had a choice since.
Now Trixie is another creature altogether. She chose not to have children which in light of her experiences might also be called “smart.” She has been everywhere, seen everything and knows everybody while I smell of diapers, baby puke and Wet Wipes.
Before you get your panties all in a bunch over my comments about kids and call me explaining how much of a blessing they are to you, remember, you have them now and really have no choice but to think that.
Otherwise you have to admit total loss of control over your entire life and realize you live a life of helpless predisposed choices.
Oh, and did I mention the grandkids that come along just as you are feeling your wings again? Well they are the smartest and cutest after all and so that’s a different ballgame altogether.