Accidents Happen

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” -John Ruskin

My grandmother is a very liberal woman. When my grandfather passed, I told her that he was “in a better place.” She told me she didn’t believe in a better place, that there was no Heaven or Hell. She has traveled all over the world. And while visiting this country for the second time in her life, she wanted to know what I’d do if I accidentally got pregnant.

I have made it abundantly clear, from a very young age, that I have no interest in having children. I don’t enjoy kids, especially young kids. They are demanding, time consuming, expensive and chronically sticky. I have never felt any particular inclination for them. I have no interest in parenting. If my “biological clock” starts ticking, I will get a puppy.

So I told her. In the Netherlands, health insurance companies must, by law, cover abortion services and I would take full advantage of that.

Frankly, she seemed upset by this. She indicated disappointment that I’d choose that option. She expressed an interest in having great-grand children.

I find this response confusing. As someone who has repeatedly stated their opposition to having a child, why would I keep the child that results from an accidental pregnancy? By definition, that isn’t a child I am prepared to have. With a mountain of student loan debt, a one-room apartment and an ocean between myself and my family, I am physically, financially and emotionally unprepared to a raise to child. Oh, and don’t forget that I do not want children.

The people who do have children should be prepared for the difficulties I hear parenthood brings. They should be stable, emotionally and financially. They should be healthy. They should be well-informed. And, most importantly, they should desire a child. A child should be a choice, not a burden fostered upon someone by familial pressure.