Why was I so hesitant to have kids when I did in life? Why did I think about it so long?
Because generational responsibility is encoded into the core of who I am. It has been the norm on both sides of my family since generations before I was born. It is at the core of the two cultures and extended families that generated who and what I am. I am nothing without it.
And at the end of the day, I believe that once you have kids, your primary responsibility is to them, first and foremost, and yourself a distant 99th or 100th. I knew, years before I became one, that as soon as I became a father my life as I knew it would be over, by conscious choice. I would take on a new role that was all-encompassing. I had to weigh that. And to make the decision to let myself, the old me, die away and become a memory.
That’s my belief. A parent exists for and only for their kids. They chose to have them. They took on the responsibility. At that moment, their kids became the people that bear the family name, that are people. And the the parent? They recede into existence as a part of the mere support system for those people that now bear the family name. The rest is nothing but the rest.
I realize that there’s a pretty big western tradition out there, including psychologists (who regularly refuse to see themselves as the highly culture-bound creatures that they are), who will argue that this is a false belief or unhealthy or blah, blah, blah. Sure, whatever. Tell me what you need to tell me. I’ll always listen to anyone. But don’t expect me to agree.
I’ll also say that I’m not here to force my beliefs on anyone. I’ll leave that to our modern cultural totalitarians on the left and on the right, who never met a moment for activism they didn’t embrace with a verbal barrage or seven.
My beliefs are mine and mine alone. But they are mine, and I, for myself, am compelled to be governed by them.