24-Year Old Stock Clerk Wants to be a Single Dad

on November 10, 2012

Teen Father via SurrogacyIt’s early Saturday morning.  The sun is just coming up in Barcelona.  On the street there are still some sorry stragglers making their way home from the bars.  I can hear an occasional drunken shout, and maybe a breaking beer bottle.

My oldest boy (Noah) is up and fussing, so I am up also.  Noah was also up at 1:00 am and 4:00 am.  At four months he is supposed to be sleeping five or six hours — someone should explain that to him.

Noah woke up his brother (Owen), who is now rolling in and out of sleep.  Owen ate at 4:30 — and so I’m hoping if I keep Noah quiet, Owen will give me another hour of peace.  But the post-natal fates are rarely so generous.

I’m reading about Kyle Casson in the Daily Mail.  Kyle is a 24-year old supermarket worker who wants to be a single father because he believes he may never find love.

That is a story worth writing about…

Kyle says he feels ‘mature and financially stable enough’ to raise a child — he does not want to wait for a partner who may not come along.  He bases this decision on his months of experience as a proud gay adult.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a few years.” says Kyle. “But it’s only recently that I feel I’m mature and financially stable enough to have a child.”  I guess Kyle’s decision to be a single parent started when he reached the age of consent.  Fortunately he has his career as a stock clerk to keep him and his family in nappies and University fees.  And he can always get a discount on Pablum from his employer.

The ProudParenting blog carries the story too, and congratulates Kyle.  “Well done to Kyle for speaking out so bravely, and for being such a great a champion for solo dads,” says ProudParenting.  Supposedly they agree that Kyle is not likely to find love.

I wonder if ProudParenting automatically congratulates everyone who publicly pursues surrogacy.  Of course I’m a great fan of the process — and I have two beautiful (albeit exasperating) justifications.  In my opinion, outsourcing pregnancy to India makes even more sense than call centers and computer programming. India’s greatest natural resource is its people; and their greatest natural skill is making more people.

(Kyle is not going to India.  He has a “close family member” who will be acting as surrogate.  I am genuinely glad he has his family behind him — he’s going to need them.)

But does anyone at ProudParenting really think Kyle has hit upon a good idea?  Twenty-four years, grocery boy, no relationship, worried he’ll never find a boyfriend… Kyle seems like a caricature of bad juvenile decision makers.

They say that your 20’s are when you “find yourself” — your 30’s are when you decide what you want, and your 40’s are when you finally can achieve what you want.  I believe that.  And I also believe that Kyle should rethink his decision.  Otherwise he is going to “find himself” at 25 as a lonely, financially strapped, singleton, watching his life go by.

That seems harsh.  But the reality is that parenting doesn’t leave room for much else.  Work. Sleep. Child. That’s 24 hours right there.

As a parent, everyday throws you a new obstacle, but there’s never a new adventure.  The view never changes.  You won’t be in the spotlight ever again.  And if you’re frustrated in love at 24, imagine the difficulty of finding a partner with a child under your arm and vomit  crusted across your clothes. There’s no time for dates (let alone sex!).

And with that thought — Owen has just woken up and wants his daddy.  When he sees me first thing in the morning, he always giggles.  I do enjoy that more than I can express.

But what I really love, is thinking about the years ahead when I can share with my two boys the stories of my life. The travels around the world.  Some years of abject poverty, and other years of fleeting wealth. Starting a career. Buying a house. Falling in love. More than a few heartbreaks. Eventually getting married.

So much happens after 24 years, Kyle.  Its a shame neither you nor your child will know of those things.


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