Do You Have A License to Bear Children?

Delta Winds cover 1999Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


"Do You Have A License to Bear Children?"

JoAnne L. Mounce

For months the adorable couple anticipated the grand day when they would finally be parents. As they sped down the avenue in their jalopy, the man prayed they would arrive at the hospital on time. "I wonder if I will be an able mother," contemplated the overdue pregnant girl in the front seat of the automobile. Their concentration was suddenly shattered by the roar of a police siren; the husband soon realized the flashing red lights were for them. He slowed the vehicle to a stop, whispered a quick prayer, and prepared for the officer approaching the car. Instinctively, the man reached for his wallet to verify he was authorized to drive. The lawman peered into the clunker and unexpectedly declared, "I don't intend to inspect your driver's permit and I don't object to you pushing a bit over the speed limit." The woman uttered a questioning whimper; contractions worsened as the baby attempted to announce his entrance into the world. Finally, the cop clamored, "Miss, may I see your license to have that child?" Even though a law enforcement approach may seem somewhat startling, wouldn't the world be a finer place for children if a certificate to become a parent were mandatory?

Prenatal care would be the first example of the training involved to obtain an entitlement. Many women tarry for six months of their pregnancy before they consult a physician, who then enlightens the expectant mother on nutritional food consumption and diet responsibilities. I freak out every time I observe a pubescent female with a cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth, while her belly incubates a life. You question (as she snatches long pulls off the cancer stick) if she possesses the slightest clue of the effects of carbon monoxide on her fetus; in fact, the long term health problems which may plague the future of her son or daughter might be results of the poisons she relished while pregnant. Consider the health care costs our country could conserve if prenatal care were properly administered to society's babies.

Expectant parents should endure researching the issues of breast-feeding prior to the arrival of their infant. Unfortunately, our legislation has virtually outlawed nursing in public locations. Most people presume breast-feeding a youngster past a specific age is sexually perverted instead of nature's intention. China, for one, promotes suckling until a toddler is five years of age; consequently, those citizens have considerably fewer dilemmas regarding accelerated health care costs in their elderly population versus the United States. You wonder if the baby formula companies influence the general attitudes of our society or if people disregard what is beneficial to the welfare of our children.

Stress management classes should definitely be mandatory for future fathers and mothers. Unrealistically, our populace expects inexperienced parents to successfully manage all the pressures of life, such as money, work, family, relationships, and basic daily routine. Without proper parental training and stress management, do we really expect young couples to refrain from lashing out at their kids? If Mommy and Daddy received an education prior to the arrival of that life, they would be less likely to strike their offspring in times of family trauma. Envision the many lives affected for generations by the emotional dysfunction created by the physical abuse of children; furthermore, the government could down-size the thousands of agencies designed to monitor child abuse behavior and ultimately economize the budget. Advanced education or "licensing" is the answer to these social conflicts.

As I reflect on my own decisions about heirs, I clearly recall contemplating child education courses to prepare myself for such an immense responsibility. In the end, I concluded I was not capable of providing all a toddler deserves to be successful in life. Higher education, health care, and basic essentials are issues people need to address prior to jumping into parenthood; finally, the huge amount of thought-provoking, emotional nurturing required to foster a sound descendent in the twenty-first century screams for proper teachings.

Government dictates that people obtain a license to operate automobiles, to contract marriages, or to legally fish; however, any idiot can bear children. I pray our country wakes up and commences to care enough about our future generations to mandate pre-parental training before we saturate the world with children lacking "life chances." I don't know if the answer lies in bestowing law enforcement agencies with the power to regulate and issue credentials to be parents, but our society should revamp the existing procedures and "wake up and smell the coffee" before it is too late.