But I Don't Want A Child

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 17 June 2020   |   By Ricardo Kanono
But I Don't Want A Child

One heated night of sexual passion my girlfriend and I abondoned the condom. The intensity of feeling as I pumped seed into her was short lived,but I didn't make her see or hear the Hail Marys I chanted hoping she wasn't at her most fertile or that by some miracle  she would not fall pregnant. She looked at me as I rolled off her "we're not ready for a child babe!” The magnitude of that statement as  she said it she would never understand. She was 33 and at the peak of her career and she was certain she only would want to start a family a few years on. I on the other hand knew with astounding certainty that I did not want to sire children. We were at a disconnect but not currently,because where she wasn't ready,I was sure I didn't want. A dissonance of sorts.I should really tell her. She deserves that at least.

I am 39 and constantly ridiculed by my friends each time I told them I don't want children. What happened to choices? "Wayaka ga o tshole monna". Some days it hurts,but other days I see them as products of the pressures of the society we live in. I can't blame them.

I knew by the time I was 16 and had the involuntary erections in my sleep that I did not want a child of my own. Between my brother and  three sisters I boasted a nine person horde of nieces and nephews. I love them like my own. When my little sister had her first baby three years ago I was present in her birthing room and held that tiny bundle and felt my heart leap. This plus my apparent adoration of their children and any children really confuses all of them,because even at all times I am the default child minder when they need one and are stranded and I am available. My father told my eldest brother he thought something was wrong with me. He couldn't articulate himself and kept looking shyly and worried at my brother until he asked if he thought I was gay. He said he laughed at his father's face. The day he called and told me what my father had said I went to the farm to see him that weekend. I was alone this time. A few times I had brought the girlfriend she knew from university. I told him I knew what he thought and told him "no papa,I am not gay. I just do not want to have children". The look on his face pained me and I remembered it was my life we were talking about. He had had his five children. I continued; "with all the nieces and nephews I have between your four other children where would I find the time for my own?"

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"Dad,what does it matter? And like I say your children have enough nephews to carry that legacy if that is what this is about. Me? I'll support them fully"

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That was four years ago. It has never come up again. No one understands,no one needs to understand. It is about my choice,the one I feel in my heart.

I eventually told her,my ex girlfriend,after the scare from the last time. I owed her that much. She will want children eventually she says. And on that we knew we could not,as much as we loved each other, continue with our relationship. She is my friend and sometimes she asks. My answer? But I do not want to have children!

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