Over the course of this long summer, I’ve realized that I’m never having kids.
My friends and I like to shoot the shiz about our futures all the time. Recently graduated or college seniors, we’re all at the point where our lives will soon change. Power hours with a case of cheap beer will be replaced with half-hour lunches. Spontaneous mid-week getaways organized a night before departure to Nashville will have to be postponed for when we can take time off.
Our lives have, for the most part, been relatively responsibility free. I know that we live it up like no one else during the summer – and probably for much of the school year. I like to tell myself that I should do what I’m good at – living it up like a champ is something I’ve always excelled at doing.
This is me, enjoying the concept of a stress-free life at 2am on a summer weekday:
Common Conversation and a Week Long Stay
One of my friends is a very simple person. Not simple minded or stupid, but just simple. Give him a roof, a lawn to mow, and a case of beer and this guy will be content for the rest of his life.
In common late-night, beer infused conversation, we talk about our own ideal future. His always excludes kids because, as we all know, the fewer kids you have, the less you have to work, and the more you can enjoy what you earn.
I always wanted kids. Or, I at least wanted them in some crazy land where they never cry, never need their diapers changed, and they’re always well behaved.
But a lot has changed in my life in the past six months. For one, I’m single. Heh – isn’t that crazy. Apparently girlfriends only stick around long enough to get in the way of the “college experience.” Adios, home girl! It was devastating at first, but now it’s as liberating as watching the Berlin Wall drop. Cue the Freebird chorus!
And secondly, I’m back at home for the time being, until one of my friends moves back and we move into the ultimate bachelor pad together. It’ll be a party – and any one reading this is invited. Welcome to the Animal House, people!
So in the past six months I’ve turned an engagement ring fund into a travel and fun fund. In doing so, I realized that traveling and living a carefree, completely selfish lifestyle is 100% awesome. I’m pretty good at being a single 20-something who has not a care in the world. In fact, I’d say it’s what I do best.
So back to kids.
I’m from the Midwest, a place where people are friendly but teeth are few. Around here, people get married at 22, have 5 kids by 27, and never really live out their 20s. Every day I encounter more wedding pictures on Facebook and silently giggle about all the future divorcees. I can’t laugh too much, as I was on the same plan just a few months ago.
But now things have changed. I’m a single dude permanently annoyed with the idea of having kids.
My niece has spent all of four days at my house and I’m ready to pull my hair out. In between stepping on toys littering the floor and listening to her prove her 75-word vocabulary her mom (my sister) loves to boast about, I’m pretty fed up. Don’t tell my sister, though.
And it’s at this point I feel just like my carefree friend. No kids = no household mess. No diaper budget = I can pay a maid to clean up after me. No private school education expense = I can spend weeks all over the world doing exactly what I do best: having a great time. No nagging = I can do what I want, when I want.
Seriously, I’ve come to appreciate just how easy life is right now. I never had to plan when I’d go to the bathroom before my sister and brother-in-law dropped off my niece for her week-long stay. It is things like that which I’ve really come to appreciate – the really simple things in life. Who wants to plan a bathroom break around a crying, needy baby?
Kids are great. I’m thankful my parents decided to have me. But I’m so not the guy to raise a child. Ha! I have a hard enough time taking care of myself.
Anyway, that’s the end of my late-night rant. As amazing as bringing a life into this world probably is, I imagine that living my own exactly as I desire will be even better.
To all you parents out there, keep on keeping on. To all those who vouch with me to remain childless, I ask only, “Who wants to go to Vegas tomorrow?”