I don't watch much TV, which is odd considering my dream is to write for it. But tonight I watched three consecutive hours flipping between non-cable channels. The most I've watched straight in the last five years, probably. So excuse me if what I'm about to write is old-hat to most of you, but it's completely new to me because of my just emerging from a television coma:
Pfffft, Bayer. Pardon me. More specifically, Pfffft "Beyaz," Bayer's birth control pill.
Just saw your ad for the first time ever. A bunch of young women in a "store" choosing between all the wonderful things life has to offer. Hot car. Dream job. Buying a house. Trip to Paris. Or... a manic stork trying to drop a bundle at your feet. If you want one of the first four, you'd better stay well-clear of the bundle of joy that pesky diaper bearing ciconiiforme is dying to unload at your Manolo Blahnik's.
Mind you, I'm well aware that I'd be in a completely different place if I'd opted to NOT have kids. Yeah, this twin would probably be a single. On a bigger plot, in a better part of town, with a newer/better/leased foreign car parked in an attached three-car garage. I'd probably be waking up nights worrying about my investments instead of my kid's algebra test and bill collectors. And I'd be plotting how to get rid of my corporate competition instead of piece-mealing my share of the family's coffers. But a huge UP YOURS to Bayer for suggesting that nothing good can be obtained from that "store" if you opt for the stork's bundle.
I've been to Europe, several times before kids and once after. The trip after took a lot more pinching/saving/ebaying, but was the most memorable of the lot. Yeah, my car is extremely used, leaks oil and shows numerous traces of kids' wear-and-tear in the backseat. But I wouldn't trade a single crayon mark, sticky soda stain or smudge mark. My kids made them. My messy, fabulous kids. (Remind me to make them clean my car for a late Mothers Day present)
We own our house. It's not huge and it's not new, it's not in a "hot" neighborhood...but we bought it, despite the parasitic stork that Bayer's commercial blasts. So pardon my French, but va te faire foutre, Bayer et Beyaz. Life doesn't necessarily automatically suck if you have a kid or two.
Yeah, there aren't as many goodies. Some of your goodies may have to be second-hand, smudged, or domestic instead of imported. But every year on the second Sunday in May I get something awesome made from a handprint in art class. And every Christmas morning I get two amazed faces descending the staircase (even though one of them is faking it). And every day I get to know that I've had some small part in creating and shaping two kickass boys who'll do something decent and leave this trash heap of a planet a little better than they found it.
Yes, I gave up a LOT by deciding to have kids. But I got a lot in return. For Bayer/Beyaz to suggest that it's a dreams-or-genes alternative is infuriating to me. Unfulfilled dreams? Yeah, I've got some. But so do a lot of those "shoppers" who picked the house/trips/career over kids. Life isn't that black-and-white Bayer. Awesomeness and fulfillment are subjective. It's not up to some 50-something white guy at the corporate office in north Jersey to tell women that it's one or the other. Schmuck.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to research "European vacations" online with my boys. We may have to save for five years to get there, but we will. And we'll send you a postcard. Postage due.