Solved: The meaning of life

This weekend I stumbled across the meaning of life. It was quite by accident, I assure you.

My grandson (also known as The Unwanted Child) came to visit this weekend. The kid will be two years old in December.

I guess The Unwanted Child moniker deserves a bit of explanation. His parents are my son and my son’s ex-girlfriend. The story I was told was that both of them decided equally to forgo birth control. I’m still not exactly sure why. Their attitude seemed to be whatever will be will be.

Wow.

So, long story short, nine months later my grandson pops out.

My son turned out to be a great dad. He doesn’t like younger life forms and couldn’t stand the responsibility of being a parent. So he split to shack up with a 17-year old girl who was pregnant and already had another child, too. See? That’s a textbook example of gerbil logic.

My son wouldn’t take visitation and showed absolutely no interest in the kid. He also paid no child support.

The young mother we unofficially adopted as our “daughter” and we assured her we wouldn’t take sides. We were only motivated by what was best for the little guy. With that understanding we grew a relationship with the mother and over time took on somewhat parental roles with her. In fact, we see her a lot more than my son.

At first the young mother was very flexible with our son, even though he was a cad. Finally fed up she offered him the opportunity to opt-out by signing away his parental rights to the child. For some strange reason, he refused.

Then she came to us for advice on going after child support. Not playing sides, we helped her out.

And now, here comes the twist. Oh how I loves me the twists.

Her next move was to decide that she was too young to be a mother. Apparently she wants to party more and stuff. So she offered my son full custody. Right on a silver platter, too. He refused. Then she pointed out that she’d pay child support. My son the gerbil then updated his position and said, “Child support, eh? Let me reconsider. Perhaps we can come to an accommodation after all.”

I think this switcheroo turned off the young mom. Suddenly she had second thoughts about offering my son the kid.

Thus was born Plan B. She dumped the child with her mother and split town.

And that’s the situation as it stands today.

I find it pretty sad. Neither of them have wanted to be responsible at any stage of this drama. My son has refused to be a father to the child and the mom has tried to give him away and failed. Neither parent wants him. That’s the background on why I call our grandson The Unwanted Child.

This weekend the other grandma was moving and asked us to watch the child. We said we would. He’s really a pretty good kid in spite of the hand he’s been dealt. We had a good time with him. We do things with him that no one else does like take him outside and stuff. The night before Halloween we took him for a walk around the neighborhood to look at pumpkins, decorations and even Halloween lights. (These are a lot like Christmas lights except every light bulb has painstakingly been removed and replaced with an orange bulb.) He loved it.

One thing I noticed about the child (to get this post back on point) is that he really poops. A lot. More importantly, though, he’s really a bundle of raw nerves. He seems very susceptible to pain. Any amount of pain or irritation (like taking back your own property from his grubby little fingers) will spawn a hysterical crying fit.

Look at him funny. Boom. He cries and screams.

Touch his toy. Boom. He cries and screams.

Tell him that the Texas Rangers have won a World Series game. He really cries and screams.

Dare to tell him the word “no.” Boom. He cries and screams.

And so on and so on. Rinse. Repeat.

That’s when it occurred to me. Life is about pain. When we are young our tolerance is extremely low. Extremely! As we get older, however, our tolerance increases.

For example, by the time you are my age (a grandpa) someone touching your toy doesn’t make you scream hysterically. It may still irritate, but you deal with it better. (Well, sometimes.)

So I have concluded that the meaning of life is dealing with pain. The older you get the more you can take. By the time you get to where I am in life, you can deal with an enormous amount of pain.

To extrapolate this even further I can safely conclude that the level of pain in my life will only increase with time. The day of death, I reason, must therefore be the day when the amount of pain finally exceeds our ability to deal with it, and thus it is game over.

I always wanted to know the meaning of life and now I do, thanks to one unwanted little lifeform. Somehow that seems fitting.

15 responses

  1. I feel badly for UC. That blows.

    My parents should’ve properly dumped me off on somebody w/o doing what they did. He might turn out grand, I surely hope so. I wasn’t properly out-fitted for this life. The more I live, it seems nobody else was, either.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I really hope little UC will grow up unaffected by the drama surrounding his creation. I can hope, can’t I?

      Your comment is short but hints that you’ve been through a lot. I can empathize and I feel for that. Still, somehow, you turned out to be super-cool-awesome so you got that going for you. πŸ™‚

      The bit about not being properly out-fitted for “this life” especially resonates with me. I’ve often spoken about how I feel like I’m on the wrong planet.

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      1. Aw, thanks. Yeah, I’m a mess ;p

        Bowie was so important to me, I can’t explain. I always felt like I was an alien and he understood — or something.

        True story: my older brother (8years) always told me that the circus passed through and left me – that I didn’t belong in the family.

        Like the LAST KID in school to believe in Santa Claus, I believed it. With relish. It gave a reason why they hated me so much (the understanding at the time). It was 9 or older ::hangs head in shame:: before the kids at school convinced me that elder siblings “always” said that. I had this hope that my real family would come get me one day or that I could find them.

        Nope! I’m really their baby!

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  2. Sounds like UC has at least two people on his side…you done good Mr.

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    1. Ah, thanks. Trust me on this, it’s mostly the Mrs. She’s the one who makes the UC a priority in our lives. My job is to sit on the comfy chair, look grumpy, say grumpy things, and then drift off to a little nap when the child gets too energetic. πŸ™‚

      I checked out your blog. Good stuff! I tainted it with a comment. My apologies for that.

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  3. My family tree is literally brimming with UCs, and yet I still thought that I would somehow live the dream of spoiling the crap out of my grandkids and then send them home to inflict the revenge upon my kids that I have so sorely earned. Real life is so different than TV sitcoms…

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    1. Boy, you nailed it. Although I do think my life would make a most excellent sitcom. Forget about police, attorneys, doctors and all that stuff. We need more shows about nameless schmucks who bitch a lot!

      And something tells me I was a UC, too. So that’s at least two generations and we’re carrying on a grand tradition. I wonder if my dad was planned? Now that I think about it I wouldn’t be surprised either way. Maybe dealing with the unexpected is another part of the meaning of life?

      At least being a UC isn’t a death sentence. Many go on to be great people. Or so I’ve heard.

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      1. Have you ever seen Shatner’s new “$#*! My Dad Says” show? Considering that effective birth control is a fairly new phenomena, I suspect that there are a LOT more UCs amongst history’s greats than most people might think! πŸ˜€

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  4. Poor little guy. Feeling unwanted must be one of the worst sensations in the world, especially when you’re small and can’t fully understand what it is you’re feeling. Good job he’s got you guys and his mum’s mother. As for life being about dealing with pain, that’s very Buddhist. Life IS pain, says Buddha. Thnaks, Buddha, you big bellied smiler, say the rest of us sarcastically.

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    1. I really do hope he feels loved. Because he is. Maybe I should take him under my wing. In 15 years or so I’ll take him aside and say:

      “You don’t know the power of the dark side. I am your grandfather!”

      I realized the Eastern influence on my post after I hit the submit button. I just shrugged and accepted it. I guess that puts me in good company. And it also begins to explain why a lot of people say “Bhuddha” while they try to rub my tummy.

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  5. This makes me cry for so many reasons. First for the child, second for your son and his ex-, and thirdly a cry of joy for you and your wife for stepping in and being wonderful grandparents. If you don’t feel wanted, what do you have? Nothing else can fill that void. How many people are chasing that emptiness?

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    1. Seeing the kid did interrupt my nap time but I do like him, and I can’t usually say the same for most folks his age. πŸ™‚

      Heck, I wasn’t wanted and I turned out normal and well adjusted. Right? Right??? Wait. Don’t answer. There should be no lies between us!

      πŸ™‚

      I seriously wonder if the kid should be adopted into a good home. A home with loving and responsible parents who would truly make the kid feel wanted. I’d miss him but that’s probably what’s best. But somehow the selfishness of the parties involved tells me that’s a long shot. They don’t want actual responsibility but they do want a fashion accessory around for when they are in the mood.

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  6. This post made me feel very sad. Poor kid barely stands a chance to grow up without some massive issues. There are so many couples out there that want children so badly, and can’t have them – it’s just sad that so many people who don’t want them seem to pop them out like hamsters. I’m glad that he at least has you in his life.

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  7. I’m sorry if the post title led you into a Bad Place. That’s just the way I roll, I guess. 😦

    I promise to post something soon that will be more likely to make you smile!

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  8. […] Our other gerbil is a few years older and on a remarkably similar track. He’s the one that dropped out of high school, never worked on his GED, and decided (along with his girlfriend) that birth control was a bad idea, thus leading to the creation of The Unwanted Child. […]

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