Saturday, May 31, 2014



A couple returning from Rome
Met some parents who couldn’t leave home.
As they cooed at the cradle
They were asked, “How’re ya able?”
 “Well, we chose not to share our genomes.”

Those of you who’ve read my old sf novel LEVELS: The Host (coming soon to an ebook reader near you), will perhaps recognize faint echoes of some of the book’s themes in this post.

Perambulate my perambulator!

So a lot of my friends are in their thirties and are suddenly having babies. Popping out puppies. Making new humans. And these friends are all wonderful moms and dads: quirky, artsy, vibrant, funny people with great attitudes. They’re awesome parents. And they’re raising great kids.

But… why?     

What’s the deal? It seems to me the time has long since passed we shoulda chucked the old tradition of “first you go to school, then you get a job, then you get married, and then you hunker down and have yourself a passel of kids.” Yet it’s still considered almost “mandatory” to reproduce this reproduction plan in many circles. WTF?

It’s particularly troubling considering how many bad parents there are out there. Why not create a society encouraging only those who have a very special “calling” for parenthood to breed? It’s one of the hardest, trickiest, most demanding jobs in the world, but we seem to believe everyone should do it. People who can barely operate a can opener think it’s just fine to go off and make themselves a person… and then try to raise that person on up… so it can then make other persons.     

As Doritos used to advertise: “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more.”

I won’t even touch on the population issues involved. Okay, so maybe I’ll touch on them a tad. Here I go: We have plenty of humans, Peeps. There’s barely a problem I can think of (climate change, disease, famine, war, pollution, etc) that wouldn’t be eased up quite a bit if there were far fewer Homo sapiens infesting our cute little planet. So automatically popping out more of them “because that’s what’s done” doesn’t make sense.

Just ‘cause your folks did it doesn’t mean you have to. Your folks also wore polyester jump suits and watched TV shows when they aired. Rest my case.

I believe being a parent should be something rare and treasured, like being a stunt man, brain surgeon, or sommelier. And those few who pursue it would get huge respect -- especially considering all the strenuous training, testing, and licensing ideally involved in the process. It should be something that, at a cocktail party, draws a crowd. “Really? You’re a dad/mom? Wow! What’s it like? I went to school with someone who wanted to be that!”

I would like to live in a world were being a parent was kinda like being an astronaut. Cool as hell, but pretty darn rare, and only done by experts.

My point is, why not have yourself a gerbil, some sea monkeys, or one of those purse dogs? Leave parenting to the pros.

And, please, don’t get me wrong. I love kids. I really do. I always wanted to have my own, truth be told. (Fact is the only reason I didn’t have children was I thought I should wait until the day I felt like a “grown up” myself. Needless to say, that never happened.)


  1. Oh dear. Just when I was starting to think the world might be better with a few little me's. I agree with your beliefs and look forward to your addendum and I guess I'll have to back out of that project I was going to take part in where the scientists take my DNA, clone me as a woman and as a man then have them breed little Gregory Lawrence Stewart's. Can't you see them now wandering about the planet in no particular direction at all pursuing their prime directive (LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO LOVE WHO WILL LOVE THEM BACK)?

    1. If you DO partake in that experiment, I'll adopt the runt from the litter.

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