[Guest blogger James Prescott is the author of a science fiction novel, Between Earth and Arcturus which can be listened to as an audio drama on www.workingthegalaxy.com. He is a member of the South Bay Writers group,to which Cheryl and Ellis Levinson belong.]
I am 54 years old and never had children of my own; that is to say, no biological offspring. I do have a stepdaughter whom I first met when she was already in college, and now she has a beautiful baby boy of her own. My wife divorced her first husband when their daughter was quite small, and he has since passed away.
Though we don’t share any genetic material, I love my stepdaughter as much as I would one of my own. At least, I think I do. Not having any way to compare, I will never really know, but does it matter?
And her baby is a joy to me, which I never expected.
Do I now regret not having kids of my own? Hell no! I’ve got the best of both worlds. When I read the August postings on this site, they resonated with me and inspired me to respond with something of my own experience.
Just read the August 15th (2013) posting (Who Are the Men Who Choose to be Childfree?) and you will get a good idea of why I wasn’t desperate to spread my genes around. Until reaching my 30s, my career and financial security were at the mercy of a fickle industry which was getting more heartless with each passing day. Then the economy crashed…several times…just when I thought I was getting my life in order. I never felt that I could provide the security and stability that a child deserves.
Besides, I was pretty content without children. In fact, until my mid-thirties, I was content being unmarried. I’d seen bad marriages, and I’d seen really bad divorces. Now, I am married, and when people ask me if it’s my first marriage, I tell them it is both my first and last. I’m mature now. This is not an experiment.
My daughter and grandchild please me immensely, just at the time in my life when I am able to be a good father and grandfather. What could be better? My wife and I shop for things for our grandchild, and we babysit often. When Cheryl and Ellis first told the group of their project, which later became the book, Enough of Us, I was skeptical. However, I do have an open mind (some say my mind is open at both ends to let the wind blow through), so I gave it a chance and began helping to critique their book as it progressed. During that time, I learned that the message they bring to us is not in any way mean-spirited.
I often recommend this website as a source of well-researched and current information, and I recommend the book for anyone concerned with issues related to bringing a new life into the world.