LONG time ago, my youngest sister Marianne and I were talking, and we both agreed, we wanted no kids. Marianne's reason was that the world is such a harsh, cruel place. My reason was more selfish; I didn't want to foul up a kid as badly as my folks fouled up their kids, doing nothing particularly wrong (except for the part about willful ignorance).
WELL, it turns out, that both Marianne and I have some parenting chops.
After learning how to make unanticipated babies just a month shy of my 33rd birthday (and, trust me, I stopped doing it), my ex-wife and I were blessed with a son, Adam James, who literally SAVED BOTH OF OUR LIVES. He gave her something to love and care for that needed her nurturing ways; he gave me healing - he's been reaching out and touching old, bedraggled, boozer, homeless, stinking old men ever since he was one year, two weeks, and one day old.
Marianne's wife brought into their marriage a daughter, and so it was given unto Marianne, almost 20 years ago, the great joys and delights of being the disciplinarian mother to a precocious 7 year old, who is a minor internet phenom for having written, at her charter school, in response to the question: "What is a family?" this answer: "A family, I think, is a lot of people, or maybe not so many, that love each other."
One son was more than enough for me (didn't hurt that he had 3 cousins who all used to come over to our house on Saturdays, where, we literally, did NOTHING, EXCEPT, talk, play cards, play video games, eat, drink, engage in free speech, watch incredibly poorly chosen movies (all the way through, dammit, if they were gonna have night mares, they were gonna have night mares about what really happened in the movie, and not about why they imagined might have happened, had I pulled the plug) ... and THOSE GLORIOUS DAYS, those were the best days of my life: just the five of us boys, hangin' out, the four of them total engaged and invested in one another, and me, room service, and privy to each and every conversation, each and every swear, each and every drop of blood leaking from the video game slaughters. THOSE GLORIOUS DAYS (and I knew they one day would end, but, what a friggin' run I had!).