I don't understand why "everybody" wants to categorize "everybody else". We had a music night a while back and some new people showed up. They sort of tagged along with someone who comes once in a while. I felt a bit invaded, I mean if you don't play, won't sing, and just want to yack yack yack why go to the music night? Finally we quit attempting to play because the backdrop yap was just too much, loud guffaws and tiresome jokes and...no more did I pack away my treasure and over comes this woman who introduced herself and then asked me "and what do you do?" I smiled my "I'm a bitch but you'll never know" charming smile and said "as little as possible, as poorly as possible", and she replied NO, really, what do you do? I shrugged and said I"m retired. Well, from what...so I bit the bullet and said "writer" and she brayed "I thought it was you!" and launched into her own resume as a journalist. I knew I was on my way home! It's the first thing people ask, after they ask your name. As if what you DO is, somehow, the sum total of you.
As for kids...I had three, had three miscarriages, and adopted. Then fostered. Both my sons have kids; youngest son has three, oldest son has five. Significantly, neither daughter has ever been the least bit interested in children. Both have said they saw up close what single mom'ing it was like. Both have said even an iron-bound contract drawn up by top corporate lawyers won't keep a man on scene and a positive influence for the time it takes to raise a kid.
I don't know my youngest sons children well. They are city kids, I avoid the city and their mother and I have never been on the same page about anything. She deeply resents me and I have no use for her at all. My son is divorced from her, now, praise to all gods and goddesses, he's very involved in his kids lives, he has a new partner who is just great and she and I get along like two farts in a mitt and I talk to the grandkids on the phone, send letters, cards, holiday observances, send them money to buy the gifts they prefer but it's "duty", not close bonding.
My oldest sons firstborn is mentally ill, a constant heartache, I feel bereft, he was my Golden Boy and then he crashed, they're saying adolescent onset schizophrenia. Prognosis is not encouraging. Then there are my daughter-in-laws two older kids, I"m "grandma", we get along as well as anybody can get along with teens. And then the grrrrrrrrrls. Total joys. Absolute bliss and they go home after a few fun hours!!
I've been sick (as a dog, as a pig, as a poisoned pup , as a...) for the past week and the grrrrrrrls came today "to make you feel better". They only stayed long enough for freezies and a chocolate chip cookie and plenty of hugs. Emily stroked my face and said "you poor old thing", and Joan stroked my arm and said "hope you feel better, you look awful.".
When my kids were small I could look ahead and have a good idea what their adult world would be. It's worse, actually, than my blackest imaginings. I can't even begin to picture what life will be for my grrrrls when they're grown.
I thought I was awake during the Vietnam horror, I thought I had fits watching the news , argued with the announcer, read newspapers, kept up to date. Today I got a e-zine with an account of what really happened in Laos, and is still happening because of unexploded ordinance. So what use is an International Court if something like that goes unchallenged?
It made me very sad. Then I started to get very angry. I prefer the anger, it's going to snap me out of this bloody illness quicker than any medicine! I feel as if it is long past time for all of us to stand up and yell "J'accuse!" and do whatever we can to stop this madness. I'm not sure what we can do but we have to try!
And as for kids no kids...I truly do believe what we all chanted when we were fighting for Choice "never again an unwanted child". To me it is one of the foundations of feminism, if a woman chooses children, good on her! If she chooses no children, good on her! Want to stay at home and fulltime mom? Good on you! Want to go back to work? Good on you.
And YES, we should have plenty of good, nourishing, free daycare available to all children.
It's a better place to put that government funding than to buy and use bullets and bombs.
Support our troops...bring the kids home again!