The Life Cycle of Smug

If I may be permitted a serious post (Feelings Friday?), the sentiment in this article is something I genuinely considered when I made the decision to not have children. No, I don’t think I would have gone so far as “psychosis,” but I genuinely think my single mother would have benefited verily from some therapy and a low dose of Pfizer’s Pfinest back in the day. (We didn’t know as much about that shit in the ’80s.) She did everything she could and busted her ass, don’t get me wrong — I got nothin’ but love and respect for the woman. But there are a lot of traits and behaviors I learned/inherited to which I’d really rather not subject a shiny new child soul.

Now, I realize I wouldn’t have been a single parent if my particular situation had followed its expected trajectory. I would have had help from a tremendous husband. I also know, when you have a kid, it’s entirely possible you’ll be capable of making the conscious, logical decision to devote your time and energy to making sure you don’t repeat parenting patterns with which you don’t agree, but with which you happened to be raised. But frankly, I don’t know any other way to parent, and that seems like a pretty big goddamn gamble (a goddamble?). I think I would spend more time in Parent Therapy and Googling parenting advice than I would have spent with my kid.

To be clear, whenever I spend time with my friends’ children, merely being in their company brings me unparalleled joy. Just to see their little kid faces and hear their little kid thoughts about, like, ketchup and Ninja Turtle swords. To learn that my goddaughter only really likes to eat pasta and cheese, thereby cementing her position as my one true soulmate. To see my girlfriend’s son giving his daddy his stuffed puppy — Jesus Christ, people, I’m not made of wood. It’s all amazing.

But also bringing me joy is the fact that I am not responsible for turning those children into productive, non-asshole members of society. My friends are much better suited for that job than I am. I will be the Official Baby Snuggler of my social circle. I will be the person who takes your kid for a walk in the yard, simply making sure he doesn’t break himself in any way or eat anything weird, and letting you have the opportunity to eat your meal with two hands while you have a quiet conversation with the adults. I will lug your baby around on my hip and show her every single fish in the aquarium 47 times if that’s what makes her little baby face light up. And then I will go home to my quiet apartment, watch profane standup comedy, and have ice cream for dinner.

You people raise the Future Awesome People of America (FAPA?). And bless your hearts, because the world could certainly stand to have a few more people in it who aren’t complete dicks, and your children will help fill that void.

All the Best,

Auntie Smug