Thursday last week, I accompanied my brother to his son’s second day of school. My nephew’s been having some speech development problems. He’s close to being three years old yet he hasn’t spoken more than 5 words. This is alarming for all of us, since according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, two to three-year-olds “have a word for almost everything, use two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things, use k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds, often ask for or directs attention to objects by naming them, ask why, and may stutter on words or sounds”. The only words Arkin, my nephew, can say are “babay”, which translates to goodbye, “wow”, “cat”, and “‘yoko”, which means “I don’t want” in Tagalog. My brother and his wife got worried and thus enrolled him to a speech development school close to our home.
Now, my sister-in-law works at this college in the next town so my brother kindly asked me to help him bring Arkin to school, since he was the only parent present and there needed to be someone outside the facility to assist the parent if needed. So here I was, waiting outside the school for almost two hours and chatting with other parents/guardians about school, children, and when will I have one of my own? one of them asked. And here I was trying to converse and ignoring the fact that I was developing a tension headache from the idea of having a child.
I’ve thought about children from time to time, and in our country, women typically get married and have children early to mid-twenties. I’m 27, so friends and acquaintances always ask me the golden questions: when will you get married? When will you have kids? While I do want a partner in life (not necessarily a husband), kids are a tricky conversational topic for me. I’m not particularly close to children, and I don’t even have a close relationship with my nephew and only assist in taking care of him when no one’s available to do so. Hell, I rejected a job offer because I didn’t want to teach ESL children English (I even asked them if they have adult learners as I preferred them, and I kind of put my foot in my mouth there because the interviewer glared at me). I don’t know why I never really liked the idea of having children. Makes me feel a little guilty, to be quite honest. A child is considered a gift, many say, but it never has been that way for me.
What about you guys? Do you want children of your own?