What is the ideal cutoff age for having a child? If you’re a woman with at least a masters degree, you’re probably thinking 40, but reality will deal with that notion soon enough.
Trust me when I say you don’t want to be approaching 50-years-old with a hyperactive monster running around crying his eyes out because he wants another ice cream cone after the first got smashed into the screen of your new LCD television set (seen in a million times). You don’t want to have a kid when you’re on the decline and rob him or her of a parent who has energy to take it outside and play for hours instead of forced playtime once a week in the filthy McDonalds ball cage.
My father is my test case. He had me, his first (and favorite), when he was 26-years-old. He had my last brother at 50-years-old. I feel bad for the little one because his father, while the same as mine, isn’t the same. My Dad used to take me and a soccer ball out for hours at a time, but my little brother gets 30 minutes of digging for worms while Pops watches from the steps tending to his garden.
“A healthy 50-year-old can’t match the energy of even a tired 30-year-old,” my dad said to me. I think by tired he meant lazy and by 30-year-old he meant me, but I understood his point. He’s old and tired, and while he loves the little butterball he’s at the age where he just wants to relax. The internet and television is raising my brother more than it did me.
I accept it: if I don’t have a kid by my late 30’s then it’s not going to happen. It shouldn’t—it wouldn’t be fair to the kid. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m wholly incapable of giving decades of my life to another human being and making sure it comes out right in the world. While I am growing a very nice basil plant, I admit my failure as a member of this species and will have to find some other way to leave my legacy, if I care to do so. Bless my parents for doing what I cannot.