On My Heirs, For My Heirs


Recently, and for the first time in my life, I’ve been entertaining the thought of someday having children. 

author blogI realize how exciting it would be to pass down my mom’s side’s genes, which “eat all other genes” [coarse, curly, thick hair, muscular thighs, and an undeniable aptitude for the sciences seem inevitable in her family tree].  It would be a treat to have a little one [or two], and see whether they lean towards the sciences and arts, like my mom’s side of the family, or inherit my dad’s side’s business [and also science] savvy.

opinion articleIt would also be heart-warming to dress and style them so that they feel confident and dressed-for-success every day; better yet, I would love to nurture these tiny human beings, as well as their skills, passions, potentials, and ambitions, so that they can make the most of their lives, and hopefully be the best and happiest versions of themselves they can be.

opinion pieceI wonder if they’ll be athletic — agile, prone to the martial arts, and superior in cricket — and charismatic, humorous, righteous, and philosophical [like my dad], or naturally inclined to music, drawing, painting, writing, and/or the lab sciences, and tough, intimidating, compassionate, awkward, accepting, and shy [like my mom].

Will they be doctors, pharmacists, biologists, chemists, engineers, physics, and/or mathematicians like most of the folks on both sides of my family (my parents included)?

legally blondeWill they thrive in business fields (like myself {marketing fanatic}, my dad {corporate pharmaceuticals}, my uncles {the family business}, and several of my cousins {CPAs, marketers, merchants, etc.}) and/or the legal profession (like my brother and cousin)? Or, will they make a career out of culture, the liberal and fine arts, and maybe even academia or fashion (like myself {writer, [fashion] artist, and a hopeful, future university professor}, and another cousin of mine {formerly involved with travel and all things international, and now a fancy, cultured chef})?

Maybe my kids will even adopt the raunchy sense of humor both my dad and I have [as much as we try to deny it], or the talent for sarcasm I share with my mom (she doesn’t even realize she’s sarcastic, and it’s fantastic).  I ponder whether they’ll be clever, book-smart, street-smart, analytical, creative, or all of the above.

having kidsPerhaps they’ll be level-headed, like my brother, and my mom’s brothers, or fiery and hot-tempered like my parents, grandmothers, and I.  Maybe they’ll be sturdy, tough, and determined like my mother and grandmothers, or gentle, quiet, and affectionate [but still quite stern] like my brother and grandfathers (I never knew my mom’s father, since he passed long before I was born, but this is the picture of him my family has painted for me so far).  I pray they’ll love and care about animals as intensely as my mother and I do, but I’ll be content as long as they’re compassionate and respectful towards all our fellow dwellers.

type aI wonder if my kids will have structure-and-tradition-loving, Type A personalities like myself [and, my female ancestors], or go-with-the-flow, easygoing Type B characteristics [like almost all the men in my family].

The only things I do know for sure are that my theoretical children will be stubborn, competitive, rebellious, and argumentative (inevitable traits in my family)…

And, that they’ll make me so damn proud.

should i have kidsThey’ll be the product of generations of superb human beings, as well as raised by people who love them wholly, and only want the best for them.

But then, I think of the world we live in, and even the world I’ll be leaving behind for my children…

And, just like that, my newfound, potential dream comes crashing down at my feet.

If I do decide to have kids, I don’t think I’d try to do so until a decade from now, when I’m in my mid-thirties…

And, goodness knows what this world will look like by then!

My guess is it won’t be pretty.

economics blog postThe Earth is decaying, and our nation’s economy is collapsing into itself; those are pretty grotesque matters on their own.  I’ll be leaving my children, and their children [if they have any], in the arms of a dying planet. We’re already beginning to feel and see the results of our maltreatment of this Earth; it’s projected to be so much worse by the time my supposed kids will be adults (let’s estimate around 2048 or so), and just awful by the time their children (my supposed grandchildren) grow up…

This planet might even be close to uninhabitable by then, and the atmosphere will basically be poisonous (not to say it isn’t already).

I’m no expert, but I still wonder…

author blog

As for our economy…

Oh man… our economy.

statue of libertyI don’t even know where to start on this one; I read and researched a lot on environment policy, economics, domestic and foreign relations, and more as a part of earning my Political Science BA degree in college [and then, for my infamous year of tolerating law school].  I won’t delve too deeply into any of this, since we all have our opinions, but, for now, I’ll just say that the United States appears to be tanking in most, if not all, of these categories.

healthcare reformOn a similar topic, our country’s healthcare system is not “great” right now.  I have my own opinions on how to handle this, since I did my entire Political Science BA capstone project on the matter, but those don’t change the fact that I’m deeply concerned.  What if my kids inherit my dad’s side’s diabetes, my mom’s side’s high cholesterol, my mental illnesses, or either side’s heart and thyroid problems? Will I be able to afford the medications I need to keep them alive in the current pharma market if my partner and I don’t make big money?

  • Quick shout-out to my father, and his entire industry: generic pharmaceuticals are a blessing, and they give so many people a chance at health and life that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise.  #grateful

I also live in a country where, even as a hardcore federalist and second amendment advocate, I’ve had to accept that we need stricter gun control. What will it be like to send my kids to school everyday knowing they might never return home? Would it be better to raise them in another, safer nation altogether?

Speaking of schools… the K-12 education system in the United States isn’t exactly “excellent.”  Our students constantly rank lower than those in other countries when it comes to academic testing.

author blogI’ve seen, first-hand, the results of the average, American school system. I was blessed to be in Merit and Advanced Placement courses from grades 6-12, but my peers who weren’t have suffered for it. I’ve seen them struggle from the very moment they begin college, due to being extremely unprepared by the K-12 education they received, and fail in professional spheres from a sheer lack of knowledge and skills they should’ve been equipped with in middle and high school.

elle woodsI’ve also spent enough time with my cousins in India to see how much stricter and more advanced their educational system is (similar to several other nations, as well).  And, let me tell you something…

Their methodology is working.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the academic, professional, technological, etc. spheres; the evidence is all there.

American kids aren’t any less intelligent than students from other, high-scoring nations; we’re just not educated as well.  Still, the thought of my potential, future children moving through our rather inept school system kind of makes my stomach churn.

Just to clarify…

american educational systemNo, I don’t blame the teachers… And, neither should you. They do the best they can with what they have; their lack of resources and support is frequently a result of our nation’s faulty educational system, not something they’re doing personally.

This country has plenty of fantastic K-12 educators who deserve far more recognition than they receive. 

inhumanityInhumanity has made a strong comeback in recent years [not to suggest that it wasn’t alive and well before, because it most certainly was], and, with it, my kids would almost definitely be on the receiving end of racism, nationalism, cultural exclusion, and religious discrimination; this could hurt them deeply on emotional, mental, and physical levels. 

I don’t attribute this issue to people in the United States alone; as an adult, I’ve discovered that many other countries’ masses aren’t much better in the humanity department [including my family’s motherland (India)].

author blogI’m a proud LGBTQ+ woman, and there’s a very strong chance my children will be raised in an LGBTQ+ household (on account of me settling down with another woman)

Usually, kids raised in more “rainbowy” environments [or with “rainbowy” role models] tend to be more in touch with their sexualities and gender identities, meaning they’re more likely to come to terms with being on the spectrum [in the case they actually are, and aren’t inherently heterosexual or cisgender].

Still, having two moms (both likely to be “femme-presenting”, and probably even of different races and religious faiths), while also likely being non-Caucasian [and possibly even LGBTQ+], will be, as Tina Kennard so delicately put it once on The L Word, “a lot of otherness to put on one child.”

This isn’t to say anything bad [at all] about LGBTQ+ parents with similar families (@homophobes who try to use this “otherness” argument against us); these parents are brave, and fierce.

author blogAs long as I’m sure I’m capable of providing the necessary support system for my children, I won’t so much as hesitate if and when I put down the roots for my interracial, multi-faith, queer family.  If I do choose to do this, I’ll be more than ready to support my kids through all the bullying, stares, etc. that they will probably receive from children, adults, Americans, Indian-Americans, Indians, etc. alike.

But, I’ll still be extremely unhappy that they’ll have to deal with all that hate and discrimination; and, if they end up queer [sexuality- and/or gender-wise], I’ll be deeply sorrowful that they’ll have to fight so hard to exist in a world that belongs to them just as much as it belongs to anyone else (not to say I won’t be thrilled about them coming to terms with who they are).  It also terrifies me just how susceptible they would be to harassment and assault of all kinds in this intolerant society of ours.

And, what if I have a daughter?

What kind of serious dangers will she be facing in this messed up world?

femme blogBased on my own experiences, I can just about guarantee she’ll have to deal with all of the above.

The thought alone makes me tremble; the chances of her being a victim of physical/sexual misconduct or violence are extremely high…

Too high.

And, of course, there’s no guarantee that my male and/or transgender children, should I have any, will be safe from domestic and/or sexual abuse either. 

Even though domestic abuse and sexual assault are definitely women’s issues, and LGBTQ+/transgender ones, [as a result of the especially high rates at which these groups experience such issues due to their sex, sexualitygender, and gender-expression], this doesn’t make [cis and/or straight men] entirely immune [if at all] to these same types of maltreatment.

Will I be able to protect my kids from the harmful effects of rape culture?

No, probably not nearly as well as I would like to.

And, as much as I hate it, that’s the horrible and honest truth.

This opinion might anger some people, but I don’t think my generation (younger millennials in the United States [where my future children will likely reside], specifically) has what it takes to save the world.

  • For one, I find us to be far too idealistic, and not especially realistic.
  • We are also [generally] more talk (complaining and, as the “kids” like to call it, “chasing clout”) than action.

In these ways [among others I won’t mention at this time] we’re likely overcompensating for the generations before us and, in turn, becoming weak.

As for Generation Z, I think it’s still a bit too early to tell what direction they’ll go in

Why is any of this relevant, though?

Well, it’s relevant because my kids will be growing up in a world mostly shaped by my own peers… AKA, younger millennials.

femme couplesThis isn’t to say all millennials have their heads in the clouds, want to be babied, or have no willpower; many show an extraordinary amount of potential to change the world for the better, and some already have!

Don’t get me wrong; this is a generation of justice-proponents and robust fighters!  

We just need to acquire a better arsenal to pull from if we want to be taken seriously or affect change in a lasting, meaningful, and/or effective manner…

And, create a better and more sustainable world for our children to live in.

If I were to have kids in the future, what kind of a world would I really be bringing them into? 

impure blades of glory gifI’m not sure, but my guess is it would be a pretty bad one.

It’s not as much about bringing them into this world [or adopting them], and raising them…

It’s more about the world that awaits them when they’re finally old enough to walk out the front door of our home, and spread their wings for the very first time.

l word blog

The walls are closing in around us from every direction and, by the looks of it, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel; there’s only doom…

Unless we step it up… Like, NOW.



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