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This 33-year-old man who doesn't know the difference between the words "siblings" and "offspring" is "winning" at life's biological race because, as of this moment, he's fathered twenty-two children, give-or-take--"roughly eighteen" he says in this video--and I've only been able to have one child.
I know, I know. Life is not a competition. But it feels unfair that in fifty years, in one-hundred years, in a thousand years and on, this man's genetic legacy will be much bigger than mine. If his kids and my kid only reproduce one kid of their own, think how much bigger of a genetic mark he'll leave on this earth than I will. This man who loves his children but who can't afford to pay for their care, leaving the state with an over $7000 per month tax burden to make sure his kids have food and shelter. This man who says he's ready to, in his own words, get "fixed". This man who named all his kids but who only gets to see about half of them one weekend and half the next. Or is that the mothers of these children he's talking about? I'm confused. I'm not the only one. This man who claims to be able to name all of his kids--remember, he named them himself--but who appears to have forgotten about half when asked to recite them.
And here I am with my one kid, Katie. Unable to reproduce another. Some days I feel like the universe is laughing at me.
Shut up, Universe. I'm the lucky one. Me with my one, wonderful kid whose existence fills me with pride and wonder and amazement and gratitude. One is enough for me. I get to indulge her with my time, guide her with my words, model behavior and teach her what I know about the world. And learn what she teaches me.
To a child the definition of a parent has less to do with whose loins they come from than whose arms consistently hold them. My genetic imprint might not be quite as large as this man with "roughly eighteen" or twenty-two or who knows how many kids, but my influence will nonetheless be impressively molded into my one, wonderful kid.