© 2023 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
My blonde baby has heterochromia, not unlike Kate Bosworth and David Bowie. I’m biased, but she’s beautiful. My redhead, on the other hand, has deep green eyes, closer to an evergreen than a hazel. My own eyes are probably somewhat clouded by maternal adoration, but her face is similarly captivating. I could look at my kids' perfect little features all day long. In them, I see chimeras of aunts I never knew. Familiar, but still utterly unique.
Those little faces hold the whole world: memories of long-forgotten dreams as well as the promise of tomorrow. Wondrous, really.
It seems like so much of the discourse surrounding pregnancy and parenthood these days is riddled with anxiety. We test embryos for every potential problem under the sun. We painstakingly account for costs of our potential children’s education, etc. Women breathlessly warn other women about the physical dangers and discomforts of pregnancy.
Legitimate though the complaints may be, the persistent negativity exhausts already exhausted people. Yes, campy positivity has its own way of grating against the senses, but this boundless bleating can’t be good for anyone. It seems to induce a sort of paralysis, where young couples seem to want to wait as long as they possibly can to start a family.
I posted on X this week that having kids feels a lot like playing The Sims in real life. Of course, much of that also includes trying desperately to force-feed your Sims (kids) while they ignore you and their mood points drop to zero. Many such cases. But my point, coming back to the issue of complaining, is that there’s a basic excitement and anticipation in rolling the dice and remaining open to what happens with your Sims. This gets lost in the shuffle of real life because, of course, the stakes are high and they are real. It’s easier to feel the rush when you’re playing a video game, while stakes remain low. Your Sims aren’t going to keep you up at night.
In an age of overabundant information, must all the joys of parenthood be forgotten? While I’m certainly not implying that a person shouldn’t take reasonable measures to ensure the health and safety of her family, I wonder if there’s some way to maintain an attitude of cheerful anticipation, openness, and resignation to fate, despite it all. The problem, it seems, is not our tendency to recognize real risks but our tendency to magnify them to the point of absurdity and thus confine ourselves to a gilded cage of indecision, as if that itself doesn't come at a price.
Can we simultaneously acknowledge risk and exercise our agency without allowing the temptation of total control to dominate our minds? I wonder.The answer, I think, is to recognize what our culture of chronic anxiety misses: We don’t ever have as much control as we think. We may steer our ships, but the winds of fate are beyond the vessel. Joy comes in embracing fate, loving fate, and choosing to see the beauty placed in front of us while it lasts.
Want to leave a tip?
We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Helen Roy is an opinion contributor for Blaze News and a staff writer for Align.