Thursday, April 12, 2012

Generation Gap

A reader asked a question of me yesterday that was both personal and simply curious. The reader must be a loyal one, because they were curious about things that don't have a lot to do with survival. That's a thing that I sometimes forget: some of you out there genuinely care about what's going on here in ways that can be surprising. A lot of folks just read the blog to keep in touch or to get tips on how to deal with the worsening zombie plague, but a few seem to enjoy when I ramble about the place I love. 

The question was actually two: What happened with all the pregnant women all those months back, and are Jess and I going to try again ourselves. Let's do this one at a time. 

I've touched on this a little, but many of the ladies from Tennessee were pregnant back when. Then they left, took over the abandoned strip mall in Shelbyville, and had their babies. There were a fair number of pregnant women who are natives to New Haven (if that term applies) and they've given birth for the most part. 

Not that people are having babies in waves or anything. There are other folks carrying children in various stages, and the ladies from Tennessee are living here again so there are a fair number of kids all around the same age. If it seems as if I ignored this, I guess that's because it doesn't seem newsworthy to me anymore. 

Wait. I'm not trying to knock the importance of kids. I'm just saying that over time we've all acclimated to the fact that there are a bunch of them around now. Initially there was a lot of fear that the attention small children would require might be a risk or cause people to be less productive. That's a bit cold-hearted but remember when that speculation was happening. Things were really bad, really desperate. We weren't holding together well. 

I guess the short answer is that the babies were born, which just became something of a non-issue for most of us. I think that's a great thing. We should see new life being brought into the world as simply the way things ought to be.

Oh, and on that note, Patrick's daughter was born. I never mentioned how far along his...I can't say girlfriend or whatever, because they aren't really seeing each other any more. It was an equal split, no drama or anything, just one that came with the lifelong prize that is a child. She's an adorable little bit, I have to say. I hope Pat settles down with someone eventually, though I know his little girl will be fine with having a single dad if that dad is him. He deserves happiness. 

On to the second question, now that I've frolicked through the happy thoughts that are my new godchild. Will Jess and I try again? 

Many of you know what happened before, and to be honest if you don't know the story I don't want to dwell enough to go into detail. We lost our first child because of violence. And whether or not I showed it much on here over time, it messed me up. Maybe permanently. 

My mom used to tell a story about a doctor she worked with, who carried a list of questions he liked to ask people to gain perspective on our culture. He was from India, I think, and one of the questions was, "You're in a boat with your wife, your son, and your mother. Which one do you save?"

My mom answered that she'd save her child, because children are the future. The doctor was used to that reply, but he said he'd save his mother. You can remarry, he said, and have other children. But you only have one mother. 

It's not wrong, just different. I've come to realize that the zombie plague has created a new culture and forced a shift in the way a lot of us think. When Jess and I lost our unborn child, I was devastated. In the world that was, couples losing a child often meant the couple would split apart under the immense emotional strain of that loss. We didn't. We found solace in each other and in our duty to the people around us. So my answer isn't a simple one. 

If it happens, and we're not taking a lot of precautions against it, then fine. We'll be nervous and terrified and worried to the end of our wits. That might have to do with a world that's fallen apart, though I'm equally sure parents since the dawn o civilization have felt those same things when they realized they were going to be responsible for a new life. Shaping a whole person and keeping them safe until they can care for themselves is a huge responsibility. 

But, honestly? If it doesn't happen I don't know that I'll have tons of regrets about it later. Jess and I serve our people with a dedication that takes up most of our time and energy. There's a lot of personal satisfaction in that. A part of me wants to see my name continue, my features (and my need for glasses along with it) passed on to a new generation of human beings. 

It's complicated, but I admit that my ambivalence has a lot to do with fear. I know me well enough to realize that I might be okay with never having children simply because then I won't have to face that worry. It might make me a coward, I guess that's for you to decide. But I was asked, and that's the best and most honest answer I can give. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Josh. Surviving is so much more than the day-to-day grind. It's about LIVING (which also includes enjoying!)