Now that I’m 40, I’ve pretty much moved past the mourning involved with moving past the window of time when I’m biologically able to have children. What an odd weighting of the scales that procreation is possible such a shorter length of time for those with eggs compared to those with sperm. It’s angered me. It’s saddened me. It’s made me raise my fist in the air in frustration and futility. Yet here we are. Of course, of course, of course, biological birth is not the only method of having children and a family and I’m open to all the options. And, of course, of course, of course, we all accept the conditions and choices in our lives in different ways at different times. I’m at the point of radical acceptance: I don’t like it, and I accept it.
I know I am not unique in my situation. Some people in this community also really want kids, but don’t have them yet. Some people in this community had kids as part of an opposite-sex couple before they came out of the closet. Some have had kids with a same-sex partner or spouse using reproductive assistance. Some adopt. A high number of people in this community tend to adopt special needs kids, even. Many are single parents, many are combined families. Pets hold different places in families from central to peripheral. But, many people are still wondering how the concept of family works into their lives. So many people in this community are considering becoming parents after being rejected by their own. Some wonder if it’s too heteronormative to buy into having a nuclear family of parent/parent/child/children. Some crave it. Some can’t figure out how to afford the prospect, especially if there’s lab work involved. None of it is easy. But what is very clear is that there’s plenty of diversity in the community regarding the topic of children and family.
We’ve covered children and family from a number of angles: surrogacy, adoption, artificial insemination, combinations of existing children. This issue is more geared toward the child-free aunts, uncles, grandparents, or volunteers who work with kids. Yes, parents will get plenty out of the pages, but parents may already be familiar with the fun places to go and things to do around the cities and the state. In this issue, we’ve got a list of resources for those who are staring down the barrel of a weekend with the kids who aren’t yours and wondering what the heck to do with them. Oh, those are some of my favorite times. As an aunt to a sibling duo of kids who are now 11 and 14, those have been my best days. The tried-and-true places like the Science Museum of Minnesota and Izzy’s for ice cream are always a hit, but the surprises like Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store have become new destinations on our activity rotation.
The summer is here, kids are loose, and I hope you get to spend some time with some. They are a reprieve from so much of the adult concerns in the world today. Someone once wrote an article about following a three-year-old around for a morning, just on their time and agenda, doing what they want to do…and it was apparently the most relaxing thing. Hang out on the floor a while, play with some toys, have a snack, and just be.
With you and with thanks,