I'm wondering if life itself, perhaps even new life, children even will also been seen as a commodity at some point. It would be sad to imagine a George Orwellian future like this. It was a young girl who said to me recently that "these days its not absolutely necessary for a woman to have a man in her life in order to have a child"! Blimey I thought, how sad. To humour her I said that it would be great if you could order your sperm kit from Facebook! It could be "browsed" from a palatte of hair and eye colours, ethnicity and "breeding" types. You might also be able to "poke" a friend of a friend on line and ask them to become the father of your child but with "no strings attached". I guess the sample would need to arrive quickly and used immediately! I know from personal experience because I "gave a sample" once and was given the option to use the "on site" facility or do it at home! I chose the on site option because doing it at home would have meant a mad dash through the West London traffic. The risks of late delivery were too high for my then ex wife's clutch of "eggs". If not delivered by DHL in the future then maybe by a drone for speed? Some woman might find it "empowering" to visualise a future like this. They might feel that its good to let the world know that they don't need a man. Well, until the bills mount up perhaps?! I think that men might feel empowered too. Imagine an unrestricted, open market of free sperm distribution opportunity! Its the kind of world after all that people think men operate in anyhow?! And what about the offspring? Of course I am playing around here but behind it is a quite serious issue I think; people do tend to see relationships as more transitory? If we think about our parents generation, where we are now and what the future might hold there is no denying a trend. I still find I'm fascinated to hear an old Aunt comment on my being a divorcee by saying something like: "In my day as a wife, "we looked after our husbands", "you supported them and their careers, you looked after and made a home", "it was all that was wanted" etc. This particular old Auntie went on to sat that she never felt "trapped", "you loved your husband and your family" and "one was happy". Wow. These are some of the unspoken truths I thought. Many would be horrified to hear them now. "How restricted and un liberated" they would say. The prose and cons can be debated until the cows come home and they often are with very strong views expressed. I was left feeling sad but also very moved especially when my Aunt's eyes began to melt when speaking of love. The past informs us that children need a man and a woman in their lives. Why is it then that people who did love each other before separation then go on to deny their own children access I wonder. Its because they are hurting of course and because the love has gone. In the "free sperm delivery future" where is the love I wonder? Does it only exist between the steel head of the microscopic male tadpoles and the huge chemically receptive warm and bouncy mother ship of a female egg? When I was married I recall the minister explaining that love and marriage were not a contract; it was a covenant between two people and God which could never be broken. I don't believe in God now but I do think there was a truth in what he was saying: Its only possible for the bodily fluids to be exchanged when there is a connection. Once the connection is made it simply can't be erased from our lives. The connection is in the end the most powerful thing in the Universe. Children remind us of that. So what does this say about how we might think about our ex? For me its part of the final chapter of acceptance. The love was there, it was real and although its now gone there can be no regrets. As for the next generation, well, I don't think we have set a great example but in the end it will be their world soon, and not ours so good luck to them.
Oh Rock, this really made me smile!
If I could choose, I guess it would also have to predict the looks and body at 10 year intervals!
Would I have used that service? - Hell no!
I would have missed the fun of creating and the anticipation of that first joint bond. You know, the one that turned your legs to jelly and made you cry with unbelievable joy and an overwhelming sense of needing to protect that little life! And that was just the scan!
You still feel that need regardless of their age and always need to protect them.
If I "picked an off the shelf version", without the other parent, I think every milestone (smile, laugh, word, tantrum) might be tinged with sadness.
Old fashion way for me please... but then maybe I'm just old!!! And now well past the creating stage, but revel in the grandchild!
Oh Rock - where to start with my reply - with the humour or with our mutual sadness at the loss of importance of love, bonds consistency etc - those intangible but vital elements of the happy human condition.
I will start with the fact that my daughter, like yours, thinks that our generation has made an absolute hash of things - but has it always been ever thus - about something or other?
It is both my hope and fear that our 'sprogs' will find love despite the cynicism and pragmatism that they have had to build up to survive this. - My hope, - because I still believe a loving, supportive bonded community is the best way to bring up a family. (This is not always possible of course - some relationships are simply not functioning - but to give it all up for just 'I want a change, I want more - that to me is unconscionable' If we have set our children that example then what adults will they become. I hope they will learn and 'swing' the other way - no pun intended - I wish I could believe it.) My fear - because I would do anything to spare them and their children the pain of this
Ultimately - we are not in control of their future - we never were. All we can do is set them an example (good or bad) as one person and let them pick the bits they like out of the minestrone of people and circumstances they meet on their way - and offer them a haven if necessary.
I think I have made this about our children more than I really meant it to.
Suffice to say - I feel the loss and fear that you do - and hope above hope that mother nature in her way will right things.
I have posted this poem before - but it seems apt so I present it again. To me it is what love should be 'when it grows up' - as long as it is a two way street.
Take care Rock Steady - it was a thought provoking post.
There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;
Which checks the insurance, and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;
Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists
And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds
The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.
And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.
UA Fanthorpe, from Safe as Houses (Peterloo Poets, 1995)