Children Aren’t So Bad

From 9/15 Oh, have I ever hated children! All of the whining, screaming, sobbing, screeching, happy, sad, bratty, loud, spoiled, and inconsiderate versions of childhood. I spent years without having children in my life except when they were imposing in restaurants, stores, buses, airplanes (the worst), etc, etc, etc. When I realized that their happy noises were unbearable to me…I knew I was right not to have or adopt any. And that’s before any considerations of overpopulation, which I believe to be the source of all evil in that it represents a pushing of finite resources that encourages selfishness, protectionism, isolationism, hoarding and discourages sharing, openness, caring. Even though overpopulation has encouraged exploration, the pressures it creates demand an exploration by conquerers, pillagers, and settlers of already occupied lands. I was afraid that a country of one billion people would turn me off because of the children. Because of the having of children, partly. But also just because of the children. A billion people, and how many of them under 12? I would ordinarily say too many. Enough that population experts are positing that India’s population will surpass China’s by 2050. Not exactly the best way to make India #1. But in an honestly foreign environment, where I am constantly aware of my insufficient melanin, sweaty clothing, and complete illiteracy (about which more later), nothing makes me feel better than the reaction of children. Children mean more to me now. Willingness – to smile, engage, react, enjoy. To react. I can’t say that I’ve stopped wincing at the start of a hungry infant’s wail or an angry toddler’s scream. I still hated large parts of the (oh-so-comfortable, air conditioned class, chair car) train ride from Ernakulam to Trivandrum on Thursday the 18th. We’d paid the extra for the reserved seating[…]

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