28 going on 29, Never Been Married, No Kids
Men think about this sort of thing too. You know, the kid stuff. A lot of it is hi-fiving each other on father’s day with roars of congratulations on making it another year without the burden of having a kid. A lot of it is fronting like we’re relieved to not have the stress of raising a family, when deep down inside, we know some of this young man’s life is getting old.
Make no mistake about it, I love my life as a bachelor, but I love it because it’s the life given. No reason to wish it looked any different, not when it’s as blessed as mine. But I would be lying if I told you I always knew 28 going on 29 would look like this because the truth is, when I was 18 going on 19, I could have sworn 28 going on 29 was going to include a family to call my own.
When my sister was pregnant, it took my mother a good week to come around. But when she finally did, one of the things she told me was, “A part of me is happy your sister is pregnant now because it’s harder to have children the older you get.”
No new information there, but it was a surprising statement coming from my mom who never once expressed the same concern about me.
Meanwhile, as my biological father was nearing his final days, every time my brothers and I would visit him, he would always ask, “When are one of you all going to give me a grandchild?” This is not to say he was rushing us to have children before we were ready, but I think what he did want to experience was the same joy he saw in other men who were grandfathers.
Just yesterday, for what is probably the 1,000th time, a person on my formspring asked me if I really want to get married. And I suppose my blog is a natural setup for such a question to be asked, but I think even if I didn’t have the blog, I would get this question because plenty of men my age do.
I think most women and even some men don’t believe men want to settle down and have a family, but to me, this is short sighted thinking. Some women think just because a man hasn’t asked for their hand in marriage, he doesn’t want to get married, and some men think just because their boy is having the time of his life being free from the responsibilities of fatherhood and husbandry, his life is complete.
Both couldn’t be more wrong.
When I first started telling people my ex-girlfriend was pregnant, some congratulated me for dodging a bullet. Others took it to the other side of the spectrum and asked me if I wished it was mine. Neither of those were the right things to say because I never look at another person’s life, even of those who I once shared a life with, and think what I would do if I was in their shoes.
The truth is, all I know, and all I know is as I see friends and exes of mine settling down, doing things like getting married and having kids, I think to myself how odd it is I’m not a part of that right now because when I was growing up, I most definitely thought I would be. I thought by the time I turned 29 I would have some kids, a wife to come home to, etc. Instead, this weekend, my boys are coming into town, and my 29th birthday is going to be celebrated like my 24th, except without the girlfriend.
But here’s the thing, I’m totally fine with that. Sure I may want more, but that isn’t because I think I have less.
All I’m really trying to make clear to people is, this whole thing about men never wanting to grow up and get married and have kids, it’s not absolute. I strongly believe men struggle with getting older too even if they are acting like 30 is the new 20. There are plenty of men out there who want to get married and thought they would be by the time they hit my age. There are plenty of men who want to have kids, who don’t look at it as some curse. They don’t want to be some old ass dad and they actually never thought they would be. I always tell people one of the things I find enticing about marriage is that even if it ends badly, that man and that woman once experienced what it was like to meet someone with whom they wanted to spend their whole lives. Pretty powerful stuff, if you ask me.
If high-fives caused death, I’d be dead by now because every year as I get older, I hear more and more people tell me I’m doing the right thing by staying single, by not getting married, by not having children. They say, “You’re only 28 going on 29, you have plenty of time.” Well, maybe I do, but plenty of time has passed as well, more than I thought actually would.