You know how your mom always tells you, “You’ll know when you have kids someday,” whenever you do something annoying/lifeshattering to her? My mom did the same thing when I was little. And now, it’s coming back to haunt me. Except, we don’t even have kids yet. We don’t plan to have them for a couple (light)years, but they are already worrying the hell out of us.
“What should we name our 2.33 kids*,” I begin to play the dangerous game with Mr. B, adding, “keeping in mind that people with desirable or attractive names are treated more favorably by others than are those with undesirable or unattractive names?” He stands and thinks for a minute, and I can already hear his nerd brain going 186 miles/second. “How about Euler?” I give him a look that clearly signals that I don’t want little Oil to be beat up every day.
“How about Gauss?” I give him a look even more pointed than my sharpest felt-tip Sharpie at work.
“Lucifer?” “Well, it does mean light-bearer,” I say, breaking out my Latin, “but NO.” He looks back at me. “Ok, what would you suggest?”
“Oh, I don’t know, NORMAL names like Ilana or Avi or Gabriel? You know, names that have meanings in Russian, English, AND Hebrew, like your name?”
“No, those are all stupid. Our kids will get teased in school,” he says, pensively.
“Yes, because Lucifer won’t. We can even call him Lucy for short.”
There are other things I worry about, as well. What if our kids are born with some sort of defect? Like, what if, for example, they have tree man skin? Actually, that would be freaking awesome (knock on wood) because I am obsessed with the tree man and really, really want to touch his skin and rubberneck.
What if they are born normal, but don’t want to learn stuff in school and just want to skip geometry class and watch Hannah Montana in the bathroom and get high (this is what I think third graders do nowadays)? What if Mr. B and I are not able to indoctrinate the kids like we want, into learning the value of education, of being decent people, teaching girls that they have every right to be empowered and boys that they should treat girls as empowered, and they run away after college and become impregnated with someone’s anchor baby? What if, God forbid, they don’t enjoy languages or chess or going to Smithsonian museums for hours on rainy afternoons? WHAT IF THEY HATE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? I don’t think I could live like this for long. I really hope they make post-natal abortion legal in that case. What if they turn out all American and are disrepsecting of our traditional Asian values, like the heartbreaking but eventually self-satisfying stories of the Joy Luck Club?
My unborn children are also making me think about saving up money for college. Every time I go to the store to eye a trench coat, my subconscious tells me, “Guess what you won’t get to buy when you have kids?! Because you’ll always be broke and pretty much all of the money you now spend on Oiishi Sushi will go to diapers or razor blades or whatever it is that you buy kids these days.” And then I sigh and buy the trench coat, because, life is short, and it’s still a while before I’m tied down like a slave by the gentle financial chains of a 529 college savings plan. They are definitely not going to Harvard. Not unless they’re freakin’ Matt Damon. And even then, they better not be getting with Minnie Driver, because, Oh God.
These are just a sampling of the concerns I have.
Goddamnit, you kids are annoying.
*because two is too few for us, who are both only children, and three is just too many to spend my retirement money on so they can go to college and smoke weed and talk about how Anne Frank is really a metaphor for our whole secret existence while I am shelling out $10k a year out of what could have been my Going-To-Japan and eating real sushi fund.