“I’m Kind of a Big Deal” is a slogan you see sometimes on baby T-shirts. And babies are indeed kind of a big deal these days.
I was born at the very end of the Baby Boom, but my life experience matches Generation X more. I was growing up in southern California, and things hit there first. By the time I came along I think my parents were tired of kids, and America was tired of kids. By the time I was no longer cute the adults were pretty much checked out. The people who spent the 50’s and early 60’s having kids and the mid to late 60’s taking care of them were a little pissed they missed out on all the fun. Some decided they were going to catch up, and they got divorced and started screwing around and using drugs, or they just started screwing around and using drugs.
Babies these days are quite rare. Getting in position where you can have one is pretty difficult. I live near Los Angeles now, and the cost of living and the lifestyle seem to make children an option people don’t even think about much.
In the US, roughly people went from four child families to two or one child families, and often none. Family life is rough sometimes, and in the city there are more fun things to do. I can see why the Romans had trouble reproducing- they didn’t even have electricity but there were still lots of diversions in the city.
But new life is something people crave, even when the child is not a direct descendant. One of the best things about our baby is he makes people so happy. They of course only experience the cute fun part, not the incredible pain in the ass part, but still it’s wonderful to see.
As long as we survive, the battle continues. We don’t survive in the long run, of course, but our descendants do. Having kids is the most important thing we can do.