He has bright blue eyes filled with questions no one knows to ask. They also have answers he may never share. He is my best friend’s son—ten months old and eager to explore the world around him. Now, don’t get me wrong; I haven’t imprinted on him circa Twilight or anything. But, there is a sense of wholeness that comes with rocking baby as he falls asleep on my chest. Our breathing becomes one, and there isn’t really a place where I stop and he begins. I already feel this sense of maternal gratitude for holding my best friend’s child; I cannot even imagine what will happen when I hold my own future baby.
I have read so many articles about “Getting married and having babies young is the best way to go” or “Wait to have kids—it is the best decision for you” or “Whelp, accidents happen: The best way to raise your little surprise.” And, to be honest, they all annoy me. I have chosen a lifestyle for myself that having children right now would be really difficult. So, waiting is the best way for me. But, so many of my friends have chosen marriage or children, and they are incredibly fulfilled creating and nurturing their families. I am lucky to have come from a place of privilege, in which my family has loved and supported me through all of my crazy life endeavors. They no longer ask me when I plan to get married and have babies. They know that I will pursue those things in my own time and in my own way.
And that, folks, is all we can ask from one another. There is no right time to have children, no right way to raise them (I mean, keep ‘em away from fire until they’re old enough to be safe; that’s just generally a good life rule). A person needs to do what is right for him or her regardless of what society says. Get married and have children young; travel the world and have children old; don’t have children at all. It isn’t fair to have one accepted way of life and anyone who doesn’t adhere to that are seen as social miscreants. Each person is the main character of their own epic journey; let them create their own story. Right now, I am ecstatic that a little plot twist named Byron is sleeping on my chest, and that, for me, is enough.