Blogger: Padraic Maroney – “The Neurotic Urban Millennial”
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about legacies, and what we will leave behind after we take our last breath. For some, their legacy is written for them. They leave behind children to carry on their legacy and the family name. When I was younger, I used to joke that more of my friends would show up to my father’s funeral than to my own.
The reason this had been on my mind so much is during this time of the year, all the babies in my family have their birthdays. My godsons, and nephews, turned two earlier this month. My goddaughter and niece will turn two in February. My brother has another daughter due later in February as well.
As happy as I am to watch these little people grow, and for our family to grow in general, it’s also a little bittersweet. As the uncle/brother, I know that this isn’t really about me… I am there to lend a hand when needed and supply sugar when their parents say no, or help them in the development of bad (but not dangerous) habits. Well, through the happiness, it is also a reminder that I can’t have kids myself.
A few years ago while having a few tests done related to my anxiety issues, my doctor informed me that while it’s not completely impossible, the chances of me ever impregnating a lady are very, very slim. At the time I was in my late twenties, having kids wasn’t even really on my mind. I didn’t want to have them right then and there, but I had always pictured having kids one day. Now that probably wasn’t going to happen — at least not biologically.
Hearing the news is like someone asking you if you want pizza. No, I’m not interested right now, maybe later. Instead, they say, “Sike, no pizza for you ever.”
You hear a lot about women who aren’t able to or have trouble, getting pregnant. You hear a lot about guys who have trouble raising the flag, but the conversation never really gets around to talking about guys who are infertile. It should be noted that impotent, which a lot of people use for this, is actually a guy who can’t achieve an erection. Infertile is being unable to reproduce. Metaphorically speaking, I can raise the American flag, I just can’t create new stripes or stars. Betsy Ross, I am not.
So, I sit here in mid-thirties, watching many of my friends settle down and having kids. It’s the logical step at this point. Scrolling through Facebook on any given day shows the difference in my life. For my straight friends, I see more pictures of their kids than themselves. For my gays, well, let’s just say there’s a lot less clothing involved.
Most of the time, I don’t miss the ability to procreate. Many of friends don’t want to have kids, so at least I know that I’ll have people to age not-so-gracefully with. It would seriously put a crimp in my social life anyway. It’s frowned upon to bring babies into bars. I’ve seen my friends do it and the reaction that some of them get in doing so.
I guess that I wouldn’t really know if I am ready until it happened. I mean, is anyone truly, really ready to have a baby. Even if they think they are?
When all the babies were born two years ago, I campaigned hard to be their godfather. Like, I campaigned harder than the Bernie bros did for their political “godfather” during the 2016 primaries. I stopped just short of buying airtime for commercials on network television.
Uncle is great and all, but they have another uncle too. Both my brothers get to be father and uncle. It seems only fair that I get a second job in their lives. I figured if I was a dual citizen in their life, it would be the next best thing to having kids of my own. Granted, I don’t really have any say in how they’re raised or get to make any real choices in their life whatsoever, but I have elevated status that I would be the third in command and the first one after their parents that they might run. All the perks without the responsibility of not screwing them up! Who wouldn’t want that job?
Alas, my older brother said after the fact he had known I was going to be godfather to my niece, he wouldn’t have selected me as my nephews’ godfather. Since this was after my nephews’ first birthday, it seemed like a referendum on my job, which I thought I was doing a bang up job at — I gave the twins their first taste of frosting, usually showed up with presents, and even agreed once to change a diaper. He said he would have picked a friend he works with because I would still be the twins’ uncle.
It cut me deep. So much so, that I have decided not to run for re-election with my younger brother’s new daughter. My trio of babies, while they might not be my biological offspring, are sure to keep my hands full as they get older — and will definitely bleed my bank account. I’ll be there for them when they need me and let them know that I am available when they can’t talk to their parents about something.
I’m going to be best damn god uncle you’ve ever seen — and plan to buy their love if I can’t win it organically.
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob