WHY I LOVE CHILDREN (BUT STILL DON’T EVER WANT TO HAVE ANY)

I’ve written before about how I DON’T WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN, and as I said at the time: “I love children. Specifically, I love other people’s children. Babies and little kids can be fun to visit and to play with, but that doesn’t mean that I want one of my own. See, the best thing about playing with children, is that I can eventually give them back to their parents to take care of.” And today was a perfect reminder of this, for me.

I’ve got two friends, Tina and Randy, who are married. They have two children, a 6-year old son named Bryson, and a 4-year old daughter named Parker. They are just two of the cutest little kids ever. I adore them both. And they both seem to love being around me, so that’s wonderful. Tina and Randy are actively involved in their church, so every 4-6 weeks I’ll go visit them on a Sunday to tag along with them to church, and then we usually go somewhere for lunch afterward, and then back to their house where I’ll just play with the kids for awhile before going home. So I did that today and, let me tell you, I am wiped out. Those kids have so much energy, I don’t know how anyone could keep up with them.

After church we had two separate events. Bryson is playing in a basketball league that plays on Sundays, so Randy took him to his game, while me and Tina took Parker to a birthday party that she was invited to, in a park. We drop her off at the park, and then drive to court to watch Bryson play (his team lost), and then afterwards we all went back to the park to pick Parker up. She was having a good time, and then when the party was winding down, we told Parker it was time to leave, and so she takes off running. And for such a tiny little thing, she can run really fast. I thought she was going to stop, but she was quickly halfway across the park when I decided to run after her. I catch up to her, she stops and is breathing heavy and sweating, and I tell not to run off like that, it could be dangerous. I turn her around so to walk back to where her mother was, and we start walking a little, and then she take off again! So I have to run to keep up to her. We get back to Tina and Randy’s house, and we hang out in the living room. These kids love playing with legos, and little toy airplanes. I had the two of them each trying to pull me back and forth to do something. Bryson’s showing me one thing, but then Parker’s calling me wanting to show me something else. I’m trying not to show favorites, but I’m just one person, so it’s not easy to divide my time with two kids at once. At one point Parker hands me a book, some little childrens books about a snowflake that comes falling from the sky and sees a bunch of kids creating a snowman, and the snowflake wants them to put him in the snowman. So I sit her on my lap and read the story to her. And then when I finish she moves turns back to the front page and goes “Read it again!”

So I read the book again. Then I take them into the backyard to play. We play tag. And I let Park climb on my back, so I give her a ride. She’s all “Giddy-up horsey!” and keeps saying go faster! But I couldn’t go any faster, I just ran out of energy. Previously, the times I’d go over there, I’d usually stay until the kids would take a nap. But I guess they’ve grown out of that, neither one ever seemed to get tired. I tried to leave once, but Parker put her arms around me and told me not to go, so of course I couldn’t leave. I stayed another hour before finally leaving. It was most of the day, from about 8:30am to 5pm. And, like I said, I was wiped out at the end.

Don’t me wrong, I did enjoy most of it. I adore those kids, and will be going back to spend another Sunday with them probably next month. I’m just saying that it takes a lot out of me. And I can handle one day now and then, but trying to imagine doing that every single day, all day long? I just don’t have it in me. I have a physically demanding job, I’m on my feet almost 8 hours a day. When I get home around 6pm, the last thing I’d want to do would be have a kid or two running up to me as I walk in the door, screaming “Daddy!” I just wouldn’t be able to do it. When I get home I just wanna kick my feet up and relax, I almost never even go out during the week. So full-time parenthood is just not for me.

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