Trying it, but not inhaling

“I tried it, but I did not inhale!”

We’ve recently entered an inevitable and interesting new season of parenting. Our children’s friends are reproducing themselves…

Babies seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days.  They’re everywhere you look – parties, wedding showers, sporting events etc. They distract us with their baby antics when we are trying to focus on God at Mass. One even infiltrated our Wedding Party, via the pregnancy of our Maid-of-Honor.
I get that this is all a part of the Circle-of-Life, with the exception that my daughters have become obsessed with this Reproduction Craze. 

I know you’re probably thinking that I’m exaggerating for the sake of literary intrigue and comedic value, but I’m really not. My girls are constantly texting and inundating me with pictures of babies. Fortunately, I see this as the overt propaganda effort that it is.

If that wasn’t alarming enough, I’m pretty sure Gracie actually has started a Pinterest Board devoted to babies she finds “Pinteresting,” (as though she will soon be placing her order and wants to zero-in on what style baby she likes.)

Not only am I wise to what my girls are up to, I’m totally on to how/why God designed things this way. He made the “Newbies” disarmingly adorable in the interest of propagating the species.

For two full decades, in the 80s and 90s, I fell hopelessly into this trap. I brought home baby after baby after baby. I couldn’t get enough of them – just loved the little things. How much fun were they – complete with their little accessory packages.  Each one entered the world a miniature version of themselves, but even more endearingly, miniature versions of Me!

They were easy to manage, surprisingly affordable and so small, we could practically carry them home in a shoe box.  Like a little Matchbox Car.

In fact, the more I think about it, having a baby is actually EXACTLY the same as buying a new car: Let’s say for example, you have a neighbor that gets a sports car. They drive it home and you can’t rush over fast enough to admire the stinkin’ thing. Then, next thing you know, you start thinking you might want one yourself…

Your friend says, “Wanna drive her?”

And you say, “Oh my yes! May I?”

You get behind the steering wheel and your whole world falls into place – it just feels so right. So shiny and new; you can’t inhale it’s brand new scent into your lungs deeply enough. So you go right home and tell your unsuspecting mate, “WE need one of those! Everyone has ONE and some people even have TWO!” It’s such a persuasive case you make, your adoring spouse can’t help but agree.

The next thing you know, the years have flown by and you’ve gotten the two of you way in over your heads. You find yourselves bogged down with non-stop repair and maintenance. You’re always in the “shop” with some issue or another. Unlike your neighbor’s model, the one you ended up with seems to be finicky, temperamental and often more trouble than it’s worth.

You’re drowning in “upkeep,” and a delayed “sticker shock.” And, what’s more, since you’re in the turbulent teen years now, there is considerable depreciation in the resale market. That’s right, people who would’ve literally paid to take your kid off your hands 18 years ago, now keep their distance from you and yours.

Even though Jimmy and I are far too young and hip to be anybody’s grandparents, I know I’m the last person that can go on record as being opposed to my babies having babies. That would be duplicitous, since my own garage runneth over.

I’m merely saying, be careful not to go for a test drive unless you know what you’re in for. Last Saturday night, at a party, I held Emilie’s friend’s baby, and, even though I purposely did not inhale, I think I might be a wee bit pinterested now…