January 29, 2002

Youth and Parenthood

Youth and Parenthood

I talked to my roommate from college Carmen today and she was griping about some of the parents of the kids in her second-grade class. She said the conversations are like this:

Carmen: You're child is having difficulty reading at the second grade level.
Ghetto Parent: My kid is in second grade?
Carmen: Um, yes. I am Mrs. Martinez, the second-grade teacher.
Ghetto Parent: That's who you are?
Carmen: Should I get you a beer?

I think the very best line about parenting came from the movie Parenthood. Keanu Reeves was talking about his father and said something to the effect of "You need a license to drive or go fishing but they let any old asshole raise a kid."

My friends all freak out about the random foibles of parenthood but they're are really good parents. I love watching my friends with their kids because you're sitting there thinking "I've held this person's head up over the toilet after a hard night of drinking and general mayhem...and now she's reponsible for this little baby...and doing a damn good job of it." So many of my friends have kid but as much as I'm envious of them for being able to do that I am so not at that place in my life. For God's sake I had Eggos for dinner last night. I liked having Eggos for dinner last night. And when my phone rings and I'm comfortable I ignore it. Even if it rings like 803 times. If I'm comfortable on the couch and the TV is on some weird channel, I watch it if the remote is not in reaching distance. So how am I going to get up in the middle of the night to feed a baby? Don't get me wrong...I have every faith that I'll be a great parent, it's just a matter of having the choice as to when you become one.

Raising a baby responsibly goes against every instinct young people have...so I don't think young parents who are taking care of their business get enough credit. It's sad to think that there are so many parents out there who don't care about their kids that you need to call attention to the ones that do. Jeselle and I went to the Garden State Plaza last Saturday and while we were outside smoking we met a girl who told us that her 17-year-old best friend had a 5-year-old son. She said that when her friend was 12-years old and pregnant she refused to give up the baby, saying if she was old enough to make the baby she was old enough to deal with the consequences. Since then she has always taken full responsibility for the care of the child. Imagine that shit. I have 29-year-old friends who lack that type of maturity.

8:30 p.m. edit: On the way home from work some teenage couple pushing a stroller jaywalked against a red light IN TRAFFIC. Dickheads. Okay back to Buffy, she just discovered the burger joint she works at is serving human meat. Okay false alarm it's processed vegetable composites flavored with beef fat. By the way I really, really dig Spike.

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