The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

January 21, 2013

My kids have paws

WASHINGTON — I awoke from a deep sleep to hear a low, snoring roar. As I opened my eyes, the indescript noise was coming from my six month old pitbull, Toby, as he lay in between myself and my wife, Monika. As I got my bearings, I looked to my left to the night stand to see what time it was. The alarm clock read 2:37 a.m. The next hour consisted of Toby twitching while snoring quite loudly.

I wake up each morning at 6 a.m. to take the dogs out, thus freeing Monika up to ready herself for the day. Toby had never woken me up overnight in this fashion, and while it was a tad frustrating, I wasn’t upset. I view Toby as my child, and this is as much fatherhood that I am prepared to voluntarily undertake. This stance obviously sets me apart from about 90 percent of society, which tells adult males and females that you are expected to reproduce, and raise human children.

My stance on this topic, I feel is enhanced by my upbringing. My parents divorced when I was five years old, so not living with both parents was normal for me. Of course, both parents remarried, and this had a profound effect on my views on things such as parenthood.

My stepmother, Julie, a lawyer specializing in family law, didn’t have children and had zero interest in raising any of her own. Julie and my father were married in Jan. 2001, I was 14. She was the first adult I had ever come in contact with that wasn’t over the top in love with the idea of children. She is one of the most intelligent people I have ever come in contact with, she holds a nursing degree from Michigan State University, and a law degree from Depaul University. She didn’t need  children to validate her life as I believe a lot of society does, for one reason or another.

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