A Friendly Warning to the Future Child I May or May Not Have in 3–7 Years

a friendly warning


Dear Kid,

I’m not sure if you will ever exist, but if you do, we’ve got some stuff to sort out. It’s not that I have anything against you, but I do have a nagging suspicion that you will ruin my life. You see, I’m not ready to give up the benefits of being childless. I’m perfectly happy with my life just the way it is.

For example, I find popcorn to be a perfectly acceptable dinner when I don’t want to drive to the store. If I want to spend 4 hours watching YouTube videos about lemurs, I can. And if I want to write letters to people who don’t exist, well, I can do that too. I can do pretty much whatever I want and I’m not about to let you get in the way of that.

On the other hand, I don’t want to die alone. One day when my parents are dead and my husband is dead and his parents are dead, there will be no one left for me to talk to about memories I have of other people who are also dead. That will be your job. You will listen to stories about Great-Aunt Iris and you will pretend to care.

Something else we need to discuss—money. From the moment you are born you are going to nickel-and-dime me until I have nothing left to show for my life but a used Honda. I don’t have a trust fund, you know. I don’t even have cable. And you can make all the promises you want but I’ve seen it before. First come the diapers and the baby bottles and the formula, and as soon as you learn to talk you’ll be asking for all kinds of crap like name-brand crayons. I’m telling you right now, Kid, I can’t afford Crayola so don’t ask.

The good news is that genetically speaking you have a strong chance of being both smart and attractive—though not as smart and attractive as I am. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. But, I’ll try to love you anyway. I’ll raise you to have wholesome values like honesty, respect for nature and the courage to be yourself. As long as you are a good and decent little boy or girl, you’ll be just fine. But if you ever become a disrespectful little shit, I will leave you at a gas station. Seriously. I will drive away and I won’t look back.

Assuming you don’t get left at the 7-Eleven, I’ll do my best to help you become a well-adjusted individual with no problems a little therapy can’t fix. I’ll make your lunch so you don’t have to eat cafeteria food, and I’ll show up to some of your activities as long as they are not stupid or boring. And when I’m pregnant with you, I promise to be very healthy. No cigarettes, no fast food, and no more than 1 glass of red wine a day. But you had better not become a 14-pound fetus like Great-Aunt Iris. If that happens, you can forget about ever having a birthday party. I won’t want an annual reminder of that freak show.

So, Kid, I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about. Now I’m going to go pick out a name for you—a nice, normal name that won’t get your ass kicked on the playground. See you in 3–7 years. Maybe.



Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu (translated the old sage or master) is traditionally known as the father of Taoism. He lived during China's Warring States period and worked as an archivist at the emperor court. There he met Confucius himself with whom he talked about rites. Rites were the subject-matter of Confucius and Confucianists. Taoism didn't bother with such themes pointing to society, morals and ethics. Therefore the dialogue of these two masters shows a clear demarcation between their specific doctrines. Lao Tzu preached the retirement and seclusion, while Confucius insisted on the practicing the humanhood as the main virtue of a civilized person, and on personal education. Later on, disguised by the court decline of morals, Lao Tzu would left his job and departed to West. He was asked by the Guardian of the Pass to write a book and thus come into being the Tao Te Ching (translated as The Classic of Tao and Te). Tao and Te are basic concepts in Taoist philosophy. Related one to each other they pointed to the Supreme Power in the Universe and its features. Bio adapted from http://www.taoisminfo.com/