WOAH. I know what you’re thinking. Ben has kids? How many dozen? Which ones will grow up to play professional basketball in Poland? Which NFL franchise-owning models who practice neurosurgery has he been impregnating?
SLOW YOUR ROLL, LADIES (and dudes who are rolling).
I have no children.
But I’d like to discuss them regardless.
Why? Because of a little thing I like to call the circle-of-life ©. The circle-of-life goes something like this: we are children, then we make children, and then they inherit everything the sun touches. Even if the world has been ravaged by greedy lions and hyenas, it will still be left to them, and we need to make sure they don’t get eaten by Scar or trampled by the wildebeests. God, I love Lion King.
So here’s what we can do to help prepare ourselves:
1) REALIZE KIDS ARE A WACKY MIRROR OF YOU
There are reasons to dislike children: they can die if you drop them, they can’t keep their heads up because of weak neck muscles (pussies), and they shit all the time… but COME ON. It’s a baby. It’s a little version of you. Babies are god’s way of making you REALLY look at yourself and realize what a dick you were to your parents. Who wants to miss out on that experience? Not this guy. So before you have kids, realize that this will be a personal journey for you and lean in. [LEAN IN JOKE ACHIEVED! Level 1 feminism comedy powers unlocked]
2) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NOT BEING A PARENT
Parents are inherently insane, (see reasons in #1) but right now you’re not a parent! You still have that beautiful P word — no, not a PERSONAL LIFE, but perspective! Play the mental game of remembering what it was like to be a child. Remember how you always thought “oh, now I’m old, I finally get what’s up” at age 10, 12, 15, 18, 22, 25, and 28? Remember resenting your parents for making you do things like yard work? Or maybe you think they spoiled you too much and you should’ve done yard work. Maybe holding onto some of those feelings (and reflecting on them) will give you insight into raising children. What was it like when your parents caught you drinking? Will you tell your child about your drug use? I recently read an article that says lying to your children about your drug use is the best way to keep them off drugs. Also, good luck with making moral choices for someone else. Which leads us into…
3) GOD (OR NOT GOD) IS GREAT
Maybe you’re going to want to raise this child in an environment that reflects your beliefs… Except… do you have beliefs? When was the last time you went to church? “But Ben, I don’t have time to go to church on Sundays because I’m getting the morning-after pill.” Don’t worry close-friend-I-won’t-name, I completely understand where you’re coming from. But in this godless age of technology, you’re going to want someplace safe to instill beliefs in your little balls of human clay. You’re not going to be able to do all the sculpting yourself (and you shouldn’t have that expectation). But you CAN choose where they go, who they hang out with, what they learn… to some extent.
So, make sure you don’t end up with a kid that believes in lighting things on fire and considers you a thing. And maybe figure out what you believe in before subjecting your child to shrugs of indifference when she asks if ‘God is a dude with a beard in the clouds.’
4) CHILD LEFT BEHIND
“I just graduated from college and now Ben’s telling me to think about college. WTF!?”
If you had the over-privileged childhood I did (baby sitters, summer camp, station wagon trips), you probably treated college like a big party. WELL, IT’S NOT A PARTY. It’s your future. And your child’s future. So don’t let them read any of those articles about what you could do with the $500,000 cost of educating a child in the year 2035. (Btw, if you had a kid this year, she’d be in the class of 2035.) Speaking of which, maybe you should finally suck it up and apply to get that degree you need to start making enough money to afford to pay for this kids grad school (SEE??? CIRCLE OF LIFE!)
5) THE FOUR FOOD GROUPS
And then it was the pyramid, and now it’s don’t eat anything made in China. You get to control what goes into this kid! THE POWER! I’m going to drive my kid crazy with this stuff. He’s going to be sneaking out of the house to get Coke (classic, not powder…) and complaining about “family juice day” and “why do I keep putting protein powder in his PB&J.” IT’S TO MAKE YOU BIG AND STRONG, JUNIOR!
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Take advantage of this child-free period in life to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable and horrendous life changes a child will bring. And maybe enjoy the shit out of your free time… Before you transform into someone who wipes shit from another persons ass and thinks it’s cute.
By Ben Fast