I don’t have any kids. Not really. My partner of 29 years has two boys. Grown, old, rusty boys by now. But she had them during her first marriage.
So. No kids for me.
I didn’t really plan it this way. It wasn’t like, when I was 12, I woke up one morning and said, “As God as my witness, I will not have children.” It just sort of settled that way. Like when dust settles.
Looking at my family of siblings, we are short on the baby-making there too. I am the youngest of seven children. The reproductivity levels are slim. Only four nephews from that bunch of siblings. And then, from those four nephews, only one grand-niece. Unless she has children, our genetic line will fade into obscurity.
Everyone is fully functioning. We just, don’t.
But here is the thing. The Universe probably called that one cleanly. Some days, I read the headlines, and I think, “It is a darn good thing you don’t have kids, Polly.”
Today. Florida. A 2-year-old girl was injured at a zoo down there. It was during one of those “private zoo experiences.” This one was a Rhino Encounter. Well. I’ll say.
So, this little girl somehow came in contact with the animals. Two whomping big Rhinos. As the story goes, the family of three (Dad, Mom, Toddler) were given access to “feel and brush” the rhinos while supervised by two zookeepers. (They were supposedly separated by a large metal pole fence, but somehow, Mom & Dad let the toddler slip through into the actual Rhino area.)
Okay. Now. I am not an animal expert, except for the fact that most animals seem to like me. Rhinos, though, as a group, are solitary. They are introverts. They like to be left alone. I understand this. Another quick fact? They can weigh over 5,500 pounds and stand more than 6 feet tall. And they are fast. Rhinos, because of all of this, have no natural predators in the wild. They keep things away.
The only thing that is killing the Rhinos of the world, are humans. People hunt them like crazy for their horns.
Now, the way this scenario is shaping up in my mind, goes like this. Rhinos are big bulking beasts who know that humans have a tendency to kill them. Enter the family of three, stage left, for their little “feeling & brushing” of the Rhinos. I would say this is not an optimal situation for the humans.
As it turns out, these two Rhinos were not at all aggressive. One of them just sauntered over, with their 5,500 pounds of bulk, and nudged the girl with its horn.
The little girl had to go to the hospital, and the article did not have a report on her condition. I hope she is okay. But this is one of those situations where I think, 1. If I were a parent, that would not have happened to my kid. 2. Those parents should probably not let their kids mingle with Rhinos.
Certainly, this would not have happened to my kid. My kid would be so neurotic from my protection tactics that they would probably not come out on the other side of life. If I took my kid to the zoo, they’d have on a helmet, and a bullet-proof vest. If they were walking, they’d be on a high-gauge leash. Otherwise, the stroller would be equipped much like the limos that government officials ride around in — with a full-detail security of Secret Service Agents.
And then. When we got home, they’d have to be sanitized. In some sort of a full-body-kid-cleaner.
Did I mention that I don’t have children?
But. For those of you who do have kids, and who have successfully raised them to 18 or older? Hail to you Great Ones. And for those of you still on the path? Heaven help you.
Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.
— Lady Bird Johnson
When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts.
— Robert Brault
A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.
— Frank A. Clark