although we can choose whether or not we want to be parents, we can't choose whether or not we have parents. until technology outsmarts biology, all humans will continue to be made by two people. a man and a woman. a sperm and an egg. many of us are not raised by the people that made us. perhaps it's a grandmother, brother, or even your two lesbian mothers [congratulations wanda sykes] that care for you. whoever has the job, it is unavoidable that from the time we enter the world there is at least one adult assigned to the task of raising us.
a few weeks ago i was soaking in the tub and remembering some of the milestones i'd set myself when i was a teenager. meet my husband aged 22, marry aged 25, have first child aged 28. at the age of 27 i'm 0-2, and i pray to god i don't achieve the third. to think that i was hoping to be responsible for another human being by the time the next few months roll around is scary as hell. i feel like i'm just beginning to get a grip on what my life is about, let alone help someone else on their spiritual path.
see, invariably and unavoidably, our parents leave an imprint on us. if we're lucky, it's nothing but positive; but that's rare. most of us will, at some point, spend some part of our lives evaluating some pattern/thought process/behaviour/prejudice/world view/political position that we acquired before we knew how to spell acquired.
a friend and i were discussing this topic while i was in LA. i feel like i got my fair share of baggage from my parents, in fact at times i feel like i got a complete set of luggage. the kind you win on the price is right. [come ooooon down!] but there was no studio audience, no flashing lights and no skinny blond lady demonstrating how sturdy and easy to carry the pieces are. but the story of my inherited baggage is a story i know, the real question is: what will i pass to my children?
the truth is that we exist far beyond whatever labels our societies use, and when all is said and done our mothers and fathers are just people. plain old regular-ass people. people that made people. people that had to raise people within the structure of the life they already had and within the belief system they already held, because that's just how it goes. when you look at it that way you can't help but feel compassion for their plight. there is no job on the planet that is as important, as difficult, and as easy to screw up.
i can't help but be grateful that i don't have someone calling me mama yet. i've resigned myself to the fact that i'm gonna give my kids some kind of extra weight they'll have to burn off; but it would be irresponsible to give them a share of some of the things i have going on right now.
bag lady, it's more than your own back you hurt.
so: pack light.