Our Story Begins:
Kids are from Freaking Jupiter!
Remember back in the good old 1990’s when a guy named John Gray published a book titled Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? It caused quite the commotion. He talked about how it was an “essential tool for couples who want to develop more satisfying relationships with their partners.”
The guy left out a whole category, though.
Sure . . . men think about things differently than women. They are also – bear with me here, I know this goes to basic high school biology, and I may not have fared very well in that class – built differently.
But in his zeal to help men and women “respect and accept their differences” so “love has a chance to blossom” he neglected what one of the major by-products of the Martian/Venusian unions may ultimately lead to: kids.
Kids, you see, before the whole puberty thing happens, are neither alien race.
Nobody tells you those stories, by the way, about what your “relationship” is like when those little people come into your lives. The best description I heard was that babies are like viruses: you get no sleep, you are constantly cleaning up poop, pee, have food and formula on your clothes and you’re running around in circles a lot.
Think about it. If “Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished,” kids, from a Martian/Venusian perspective, just need. They need new diapers. They need to be fed. They need new clothes. They need baseball uniforms. They need to be fed again. They need you to listen because their boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them. They need help with their homework.
The reason I say they’re from Jupiter, quite frankly, is simple. Jupiter is the largest planetary body in our solar system. Mars and Venus . . . not to dissimilar in size. Jupiter . . . a gas giant. Once you hit the relationship/marriage stage and kids come in the gravity of that/those gas giant(s) pulls you so fast into their sphere of influence you get bombarded by nothing but kid stuff. Thinking about supporting and communicating with your spouse or significant other starts to fly out the window. Add one or two careers into that and you feel like the Voyager probe. You get to go around, but if you get close the gravity just pulls you in.
Then there’s the great red spot. That giant storm that just kind of rages and swirls and causes tremendous heat in the atmosphere. Ever been in a bed with a kid with a fever? Ever tried to take care of a persnickety kid who feels like crap and just gets mad at you because they feel like crap?
I’ve been taking care of kids alone for five years now. I’ve been dating someone for awhile now, too. We both have these days where the fact that so little is developed in the frontal lobe of a teenage brain you start to wonder if you’re exploring the gas giant and suddenly forget there are a bunch of moons surrounding it that just push you closer and closer. A kid drinks . . . their friends get kicked out of a football game for smoking weed . . . the club they’re in is banned for fundraising for questionable choices . . . suddenly it’s like “Houston, we have a problem!”
Mars and Venus have scary issues when the planets align and Jupiter eclipses them. The “communication” that you had bringing you together gets replaced by a slower orbit that ends in you both passing out in the bed rather than having sex like you used to have. Or maybe that night having a drink turns into a night of buying 7-up and cough drops because the red spot reeled its ugly head again.
You see . . . Mars and Venus can learn to talk, listen, respect each other, and communicate. It can happen. You just talk, people. But bring in a kid?
Kids . . . they’re from freaking Jupiter!