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It's generally accepted among the group I'm part of that for the most part, these days, the situation with having kids tends to be as follows:

  1. There are the people who, through whatever means, have kids, scrape by, and produce a wide range of individuals.
  2. There seems to be a larger number of folks who make the worst parents in the world, whether through abusive natures, poor tempers, bad financial situations, etc. And they generally seem to have the most children, so far as we can tell.
  3. Thirdly, there are the folks who would probaby make great parents. They're sensitive, great with kids, good at communicating, strong, fairly morally solid, etc. And for the reasons reacted against in Why I want to have children, they basically refuse to take part in the whole parenting thing.

It seems to us, quite often, that the secondary group is the largest and most noticable one, much to our dismay.

We don't want to be those people. We don't want to fuck up. And many of us rather like kids...but will probably chicken out and enjoy childraising vicariously through our more responsible child-bearing friends.

I look around me, and see a multitude of parents looking for someone to blame, lashing out at the world over their inability to explain how they've managed to produce this person, this child, who not only doesn't appreciate having sprung from their loins, but is in every way their seeming opposite.

I quietly struggle with my tv addiction and promise not to do the same thing to my kids, even as I log into EverQuest again. I plan for the future in a world without clear examples or mentors, where an entire generation abandoned it's children in order to preserve their sense of youth.

I don't have answers, only a sense of responsibility, and a need to make better decisions. And a need to be able to look my children in the face and tell them that I honestly did my best, and that I'm proud at how we've turned out.

Update 10/18/05 - Having now gotten married, and discovered that my wife and I are among the members of category 4: Desperately wanting kids, but physically unable to have them. We have joined the ranks of those known as Foster parents. We take care of kids produced by members of rank two, who are so fucked up on meth, or anger, or what have you that the courts must order the children taken away and placed in the care of another family, until they straighten up enough for the children to be given back, at which point the cycle may begin again.

At least I don't play Everquest anymore.