A friend of mine regularly comments on procreation and how arrogant and self-aggrandizing it is. I tend to react to her statements with a combination of mild amusement and personal offense. The offense is rooted in the fact I am one of those arrogant types that procreated not once but three times. I am amused at her passion for the topic, her belief that humans should stop procreating, her distaste for the breeders (she generally is referring to women since men don’t really care that much about pregnancy just the act that precedes it). Men aren’t sitting around rooms comparing who is shooting blanks and who is scoring, are they? Hmph. Maybe they are. I don’t frequent many male only spaces. In my experience, this seems to be a uniquely feminine trait. Thank you, society. Women really appreciate being judged by the fruitfulness (or not) of our loins.
Her contempt for female breeders is perplexing to me since she is one, or, well, could be one. I often wondered if she is infertile and that is why she so contemptuous to those of us who chose to push those bloody whiny mini-me’s from our vaginas. Of course, I never asked her that. I wouldn’t. If it is true that she is infertile, the question is invasive and likely hurtful. If it is not, it is challenging her beliefs and suggesting something is wrong with them. Truth is I respect her ferocious attitude towards breeding even if I am not necessarily on board with it. I admire people with strong convictions and the ability to stand up for what they believe if, even if they come off a bit cuckoo to the rest of us. Who knows, she might actually be the sane one. We can never know. “When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.”(George Bernard Shaw)
I have wondered if she feels it is self-aggrandizing to purposely plan to procreate in addition to well, not plan it. Does she view unplanned pregnancy as something different? Truth is when I became pregnant at 17, I wasn’t exactly thinking all about me, having a mini-Suz or mini-Ed or even having some human manifestation of the love her father and I shared. It should be pretty obvious by now logical practical egotistical thinking was the last thing I was doing before, during and after the pregnancy. Yet, even with that, somewhere along that linea negra that formed on my belly, perhaps around the second trimester I did indeed water a flower garden of parental arrogance. I know this because it is something I still feel, even though my child, now a twenty six year old adult, was raised by strangers. Arrogance, pride, ego, call it what you will. Once my child, our child, began to form in my belly, my mind ran away with itself and painted all these amazing pictures of the child I would produce. Perhaps I used Miracle Gro instead of simple hose water. My child would be amazing. She would be brilliant and beautiful and possess all of my strengths (and none of my weakness, adoption would guarantee that). She would be a fabulous illustrator like her father and a strong writer like her mother. She would be deep and thoughtful and sentimental and kind. She was going to be all these things because well, she was my child. I want to believe this is some sort of motherly hormone that induces protection and love and such for our child but my friend, the friend that hates humans who breed, she might suggest otherwise. She might quote that ego and self-aggrandizing bullshit to me.
I have been mulling this over lately as I am working (sigh, continuously) on decreasing my past, present and future reunion expectations. In contemplating where my thoughts come from and why, I realized that part of it is this maternal connection, arrogance, ego, call it what you will. Is my child really that fabulous? Or am I deceiving myself? Is this a good feeling to have? Does it actually help – something or someone? Or is it deluding me, holding me hostage somehow. A painful thought occurred to me recently. It may not be ego or any sort of maternally induced hormone. I may be holding onto the idea that my daughter is perfect because that image supports the adoption mythos. If she is perfect, the adoption worked. If she is not perfect, if she is gasp, a regular human, well, then what was the point of it all? I could have done a very good job of raising an imperfect child all on my own.
How self-aggrandizing is that?