Answering Questions You Just Don’t Have the Answer To
It’s not the future that is scary to us, it’s the thought of having it all planned out, or at least trying to plan it out.
You know when people ask you questions regarding what you may or may not want in your future? They are specifically asking the future you. The future you probably has a firm grasp on what it is you want or don’t want. But the present you has no idea.
When friends or family members, or even friends of family members ask you if you want kids, that right there is a futuristic question, and a loaded one at that.
“I just don’t know” has become my respond to many futuristic questions. “Do you want kids?” becomes a more acceptable conversation question than,“How would you like to live your life?”
I’m present me, present me has no idea yet. Yet being the operative word. The quick and short “I just don’t know” is not a well-developed answer for many family friends and older generations (grandma, great aunts, regular aunts, whoever). Do I want kids? I’m sure in some distant universe I do, someplace that feels really close to me, yet also when I factor in the whole no-gravity space thing, I think, mmm maybe not so close. I want them and I cannot wait to meet them. Maybe. Who knows. But do I want them at three in the morning on a Monday when I have barely slept through the night in the past few years or at all since having them? I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure because I am not future me. I am present. Maybe it is the simplicity of asking someone if they plan to have kids that stresses me out. To say “I don’t know” is not to say “no” but it is not to say “Yes”, either. It just means “I just don’t know.” I don’t know the future plans for myself nor do I want to create a world where I have it all planned out. I know myself and my personal goals but as far as other beings – beings being those teeny tiny humans that take a full nine months to cook up and bake to perfection inside of me, I am not sure because I don’t know what will happen. It is not to say I don’t want kids, it’s just I don’t know what my cards will be, simply because they haven’t been dealt yet. I don’t know if I’ll get a king of spades, or a nine of diamonds, or a joker of hearts. But let’s hope no one gets a joker of hearts.
The notion that we have to know what we want when it does not pertain to just us is something I have already grown to outgrow.
Why do I have to answer questions of kids and marriage when neither seem to not only be something I don’t want right now in my current life, but something where in my family, or maybe in our current societal expectations, the two are still so closely tied together as one needing the other?
Marriage is a whole other ball game I haven’t quite understood yet, but let’s not open that can of worms.
While some have a definitive ‘yes’ to the question of kids, others have an exact ‘no’, I am the select that do not have a direct answer and probably won’t for a long time until then…or until not.
Asking if someone wants kids seems pretty direct for those who already know their answer, but to others, asking if someone wants kids is as ridiculous as asking if someone has dinner plans in nine months from now.
It is not to say that children are always spur of the moment rash decision, on the other hand, nor are they always planned by their parents for years beforehand. They are their own unique being and how is one to ever really know the right answer to that question?
They are little individuals who have minds of their own, and whether their parents or parent had expected them to be here or not, the ‘do you want kids’ question is sometimes just unknown.
Just to call a spade a spade, the subject of children seems to be a personal question. Or maybe you just don’t know. In fact, kids are kind of scary when you think about it. Another thing that is scary is over-planning for the future. It’s not the future that is scary to us, it’s the thought of having it all planned out, or at least trying to plan it out. When I am being the most present in life, is when everything starts to make sense. Not having plans for dinner tomorrow or even this weekend leaves room for possibilities. And possibilities are better than plans. “What are you doing?” Becomes more fun to answer. Sometimes having an “I just don’t know,” answer is fine too. Or at least, it’s fine by me.