A Letter to the Children I Would Never Have

To my dearest,

I know you think it’s silly that I am writing to you, truth be told, it is.

I haven’t written letters in a long time, let alone one that wouldn’t be open by the intended recipient. But I think it’s probably wise you know on why I have decided on taking the decisions I did. Again, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll read it but I need to get it off me, so here we are.

It might sound ironic, but I love children. Especially little ones. I like to think it’s my mental age, but I get along with them, probably because I am jealous of them being able to simply eat, poop and nap whenever they want. It’s the simple life I’m a little jelly of. But besides that, we get along. There are building blocks, Barbie dolls and unintelligible noises. How wonderful.

But no, I don’t want any of my own.

Yes, you are right my love, I am being selfish. But I have a good reason for being selfish and I want you to hear me out.

I am scared for you. I am going to be that helicopter parent even after you are married and leave me because I will be always protective of you. We might always argue because while I would make sure you are independent and go by bus and do your own thing, I might also follow you from a distance.

Why am I being a creep you ask?

Because, this world we live in is sickening. It’s so sick that neither men nor women are safe anymore. I don’t want you to grow up here in Sri Lanka. But do I want you to grow up in another country? I really don’t know.

Either way, I don’t want you to be a part of this ridiculous petty competition that is currently prevailing. By not being a part of it, I don’t want you to really be cornered or bullied. It’s bad enough that I as your Mother come with the anxiety and depression, let’s try to at least keep that away from you. God forbid there isn’t something else they’ve discovered by then.

I know you will grow up in a safe and liberal environment. If you tell me when you are old enough that your sexual orientation differs to what our “culture” defines as “normal”, my love, you will still be my baby and so will your partner. If you tell your (now) Agnostic Mother that you want to embrace an established (or new) religion, I am fine with that as well. Let’s hope that you don’t incline towards Scientology or Paganism. We might have a few problems there.

But in reality, there is only so much that I can do to protect you. Despite being a creep, I would still grant you your independence and I know you wouldn’t exploit it. But I cannot be there always. What would happen when I look away? Or when I am not there anymore? Will those around you protect you and have equally accommodating liberal ideologies? Will they let you be who you are? If you say that  you don’t want to study and invest in some crazy start up, would they be supportive? Who would be supportive? Would the minority conservative and fundamentalist society we have now grow to be something larger than it already is? I may have watched too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale and that’s what’s probably scaring me, but I had made up my mind before that.

I can’t have you in this country, let alone in this world because the world is not a good place. It is not a kind place. While there are people like Ellen who preaches kindness, not everyone really practices it. Not everyone shows the other person the respect they deserve.

I love little girls and would be thrilled if you a girl but then it scares me really. Would you as a little girl, grow up to face the same challenges and difficulties I did of sexual, physical and emotional abuse for the very reason that you are a woman?

This makes me think that boys have it easier. But not really I guess. Even if I were to raise you to be a man who stands up for good causes, would you be able to successfully make it out there without the support of your peers? Worse, how would you be able to deal with peer pressure and no, I don’t mean the drugs and the alcohol.

There’s so much more that I want to tell you and make you understand on why it’s simply a bad idea to have you here.

It’s my only hope that you would someday understand.

Love,

Me.

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