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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Column: Let’s make babies

The season finale of “Modern Family” threw me for a loop, y’all. Mitchell and Cameron tried so hard to adopt a baby/find a suitable surrogate/steal a child but inevitably gave up on expanding their brood for now after another failed attempt.

That was nothing in comparison to the curveball at the end: Gloria, who spent most of the episode helping her sons-in-law locate their soon-to-be-but-not-really child, revealed that she was pregnant, beaming with accomplishment. I almost broke my laptop with how hard I slammed it shut. (There’s a point, I swear, and I’m pretty sure I can find a way to make it coincide with post-grad advice too. Give me a sec to find it …)

My biological clock is on the verge of exploding. I want to have a child so bad it hurts. I want the crying and the screaming and tantrums and the hatred and resentment a child feels towards their parents. I also want the joy of seeing yourself in your child. I want to watch them grow before my eyes and learn and mature and finally reciprocate the feelings I have for them. But, like the “Modern Family” ‘moes, it won’t be so easy to get what I want.

Being gay blows sometimes (yes, I know what I just typed) thanks to the hardships of trying to have a baby. Unless my science teachers were lying to me, gay people can’t make babies together the old straight way. Adoption and surrogacy are the roads that lie ahead for guys who want to have a kid together. But it’s often costly and filled with setbacks that put an emotional strain on the relationship.

Others misunderstand my desire for children at my age. I feel like the ability to bear children may not be given as much weight by straight couples as it is by gay or infertile ones. I get furious when I see parents yanking their kids’ arms in frustration or lack the patience to explain why they can’t buy a humongous Snickers bar in the grocery store. (I’ll do the same thing if my kids act like my sister and I did.) All parents aren’t cookoo like reality TV moms, but the rest of us would like the chance to have a happy, unplanned accident thanks to a fun night and a bottle of tequila, too.

Found the point! Preparation is key, and not just when it comes to babies. We never had the need to plan far into the foreseeable future since it was mostly written out for us. Elementary school, then middle, then high, then college. We had some say in where we would end up but the steps were already laid out. Now, there needs to be some semblance of planning in the career paths or lifestyles we choose because they greatly predict how our future will play out. Whew, I did it.

I have babies on the brain and know my life won’t have much meaning if I don’t become a great father. That’s why auditioning is on the back-burner for the moment. The chance for work comes few and far between, and usually only pays enough to help buy groceries. A full-time job where I get paid to produce art is equally rewarding as performing it — except with stability and better pay. There will always be roles that need actors, but interning with a production company now will lead to good job later and put me in a better place financially to raise a child.

You know how much surrogacy will cost ya? Upwards of $50,000 including medical expenses, the donated egg and the expensive ass bracelet you buy for the surrogate so she doesn’t duck out with your seed. I previously said “money runs the world” for a reason. And a lot of states ban joint, unmarried adoption, making it a two-fold slap in the face to gays who can’t get married in the first place.

Being picky with whom you date is a factor for anyone thinking of raising a family. Long-term relationships should be between like-minded people with shared life aspirations. Having a kid is difficult for couples regardless of sexuality and can be especially disastrous on couples who differ on having them or not. *That’s a conversation that’s okay to have on the first date.

The “Modern Family” finale is an indication that all the baby-prep might be for nothing depending on the outcome (and possible unplanned surprise). Erring on the side of being ready for it either way can only help us out.

Share baby names with JAZZ TRICE at jazztrice526@gmail.com or twitter.com/Jazz_Trice.

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