Dear 16 year old Kate,
Stop (collaborate) and listen. I know you say you don’t want kids. EVER. 31 year old Kate is here to tell you that it’s bunk. You’re really saying that because you’re reeling from your parent’s divorce and are sick of being dragged all over the country and moving. Here’s the thing. Get your head out of your *ss and realize how lucky you are to have two parents that love and support you. And guess what? You have 3 kids in your 30′s. THREE. And you’re happy. Blissfully happy. So happy that you want to climb up on top of a hill and spin around Julie Andrews style while singing (badly) at the top of your lungs.
You’ll spend years thinking you’re a crappy parent just because you’re not a traditional mom but that’s bunk too. Your kids will love your silly, haphazard parenting style and they will experience things because of your job that you haven’t even dreamed of yet. They’ll love your spontaneity and overlook the areas in which you’re lacking (for now). They’ll also have an obnoxious number of pictures of their life with you that they complain about as kids but I’m pretty sure they’ll appreciate it as adults. You’ll experience more love than you’ve ever dreamed of.
And there’s this man. This red head (seriously, you fall in love with a red head) who is the kindest person that you’ve met in your life. He’s selfless and strong and is leaps and bounds over those punks that you’re dating now. I know you don’t like nice guys now but you will. And it will change you. You’ll learn kindness and selflessness (errrr, well still working on that one) and how to love someone with your entire heart. There will still be times that you want to punch him in the throat but those are few and far between. He is the best husband. The best father. And, wait for it, you meet him when he already has a kid. That’s right, little miss “I don’t want kids ever”, you get the baptism by fire treatment. You’ll stumble through it and come out on top.
So let’s sum this up. You’ll have an amazing life. Quit being a morose, grunge-infused whiner and look forward to the joy that is coming your way. And, while you’re at it, make sure to cover your navel because in a few months you’ll get sent home from school for dressing like a tramp. And you’ll tell your kids that story and they’ll laugh hysterically. Life is good. Just wait, it’s coming.
(image by Jon & Emily Beaty)