Having Kids →

Paul Graham · Paul Graham ·

Before I had kids, I was afraid of having kids. Up to that point I felt about kids the way the young Augustine felt about living virtuously. I’d have been sad to think I’d never have children. But did I want them now? No.

If I had kids, I’d become a parent, and parents, as I’d known since I was a kid, were uncool. They were dull and responsible and had no fun. And while it’s not surprising that kids would believe that, to be honest I hadn’t seen much as an adult to change my mind. Whenever I’d noticed parents with kids, the kids seemed to be terrors, and the parents pathetic harried creatures, even when they prevailed.

When people had babies, I congratulated them enthusiastically, because that seemed to be what one did. But I didn’t feel it at all. “Better you than me,” I was thinking.

Now when people have babies I congratulate them enthusiastically and I mean it. Especially the first one. I feel like they just got the best gift in the world.