The art of having a kid.
I was chatting with a friend over the weekend and the subject of kids came up. That subject often comes up when talking with me because it is ninety percent of my day, every day, from now until I croak. My friend said having children had come up with him and his girlfriend, but he didn’t feel like he was ready yet. Like he needed to have one or two more things worked out in his life before he felt he was prepared to raise a human from scratch. I recommended having a kid because, despite its hair-pulling moments (and there are quite a few) I really enjoy being a dad. I also found myself using advice I’ve been giving at conventions when it comes to making webcomics, only it managed to apply to parenthood:
“Waiting to feel like “you’re ready” isn’t going to help. It’s like waiting until you’re perfect at an art form before pursuing it. You’ll never be perfect. No one ever is. If you want to pursue it, you just have to dive right in and learn as you go. If you’re passionate about getting better you’ll learn from your mistakes and improve with each day.”
It was the first time I’d used my webcomic advice like that, and it seemed to resonate with my friend. Like he’d never considered it that way and it made sense to him. I surprised myself because I didn’t think the pursuit of art and parenthood could so closely mirror one another.
It’s important to mention that I realize I won the lottery with babies. Leto is a fantastic little boy even on his worst day, and compared to the stories I’ve heard from other parents I am aware that I’ve got it comparatively easy. So I told my friend that I don’t want to be that guy blindly recommending all my friends have children when they’re not emotionally ready to deal with what could potentially be a screaming demonspawn baby.
There are some things you have to wait until “you’re ready” for, but not every single thing. At least in my (very lucky) experience.