I’ve decided that sometime in the next few years I’m going to have a California beach baby, she’s going to be a daughter, and her name is going to be Éowyn, after the “Lord of the Rings” character (one of the few names in fact that do flow well with my surname, and an awesome choice). Valkyrie might make a good middle name for my daughter, but we’ll see.
Why a daughter, specifically? I like boys, and frankly would do great with them, but a major motivation for me to even have a baby is to have someone to play dress-up with; so often my mind wanders to hairstyles, makeup, and clothing, daydreaming of what the young women I know and their little daughters should do with themselves in the realm of feminine aesthetics…before coming back down to earth, where I have no feminine companion to do that with. So why not make one?
That means my baby would almost have to be a daughter; boys are great, but on the dress-up-doll scale what you can do with them is vastly more limited. If I can just afford to have one child by test-tube methods, I’ll have to make it a girl; if I had just one boy I’d always feel like something important was missing in my life.
Which I know sounds silly in the extreme, but someone I’ve talked to about it in real life says she’s heard of far worse motivations to start a family.
Besides, I don’t just want to play dress-up. Having slept on the idea for years by this point, I truly feel my life would be so drastically upgraded if I had a mini-me, someone who could be a full-fledged little best friend for me. I have so many stuffies and plushies at home, and they’re as lonesome as I am; sharing them with a child will bring joy in a way that’s just not possible to experience all alone in your thirties, when you’re so jaded and you feel the inexorable approach of age. Life is in some ineffable way not as fun when you’re not as young; the closest you can come to recapturing it is sharing life with someone of your own flesh and blood but so much younger: a child. A being so new and unjaded it brightens up an existence that otherwise would grow a bit more depressing and despairful with each passing year.
I expect it’ll be a very fulfilling project, because I have the power to, in some way, make up for all the failings and the lack of opportunities in my own childhood and youth that have, frankly, ruined my whole life. Certainly my youth is pretty much ruined; courtesy of filler and steroids I can still savor the sweetness of youth in my thirties and even forties, but how much better would it have been if I could have done it in my teens and twenties, experience a whole life unmarred? That’s what I intend to give to my daughter.
I know full well that parenthood has its challenges and drawbacks, but on the whole I expect it’ll also be a very pleasant project. Turns out I really like kids, and kids tend to really like me; I fully expect it’ll be even better with a baby that actually belongs to me. I’m going to do great. It’ll be a positive contribution to the world, to have me raise, even if it’s only in some nigh-infinitesimal way, the future generation. Raised the way I believe a child should be raised, the way I should have been raised.
And even aside from that, I want to see more people like me in the world, not only for myself but for the sake of mankind. I’ll be brutally frank: as someone who has long lived in one of the most heavily religious-conservative areas of the country, I have the dubious pleasure of witnessing these ugly, weird, dumb cultists spawn baby after baby at my age, and it’s nothing short of horrifying; a thought courses back and forth in my mind, an imperative lodged in my very soul: these people must not be the future of humanity.
The only path available to me to fight back? Starting a family of my own. Half their blood will come from me, and I’ll raise them right, preserving and nurturing a nucleus of the better sort of humanity for future victory.
As for the other half? Well, ideally I’d find myself a dreamy beloved to contribute the other half, but unless I find someone in the next few years who fits that description, I’m going ahead with test-tube methods. Which means the other parent would be not a lover, but rather a donor. My understanding is that with donors you essentially go through a catalogue and choose what characteristics you want. So what would I want in a donor?
Frankly, I’m starting to think my sole criterion should be physical appearance. I so want to have an adorable baby who will go on to be gorgeous. My own mother always said when she saw a pretty woman with an ugly baby courtesy of an ugly husband that thank god that wasn’t her and that she had enough sense to marry someone who was handsome. She always said that people always complimented her and my father on what a good-looking young couple they were, and I indeed was a beautiful baby, very cute.
To this day I’m much better-looking than average, and although it hasn’t gotten me anywhere near what I really deserve, it’s worth noting that I’ve faced a lot of obstacles in life, and aside from my genius-level intellect I’m sure the fact I’m good-looking has helped me very substantially. Without those factors working for me, my prospects for ever having any kind of a life would have been finished off ages ago. Looks matter; I intend to give my child that advantage, to an even greater extent than I enjoyed.
I’ll be sure to doll up my daughter to be as pretty as possible, and have frequent professionally-done photoshoots all the time. Adorable babies and fashionable children need to have those memories, to luxuriate in the senses of youth, to come into womanhood having been on the right track from the ground-up.
Which suggests to me that I could even get my daughter into modeling from an early age. It sounds like some narcissistic fantasy world, but looking back at my own pictures I myself was honestly good-looking enough as a child that I might have actually made it, given some opportunities available and if my parents were interested in getting me into that sort of thing. Acting would be another possibility, and certainly dancing is on the table, considering I could teach it to her (which sounds like it’s going to be so fun I can’t wait!).
Greater Los Angeles, of course, is the ideal place for all these sorts of paths, depending on what sort of talent my daughter should exhibit. But theatrical talent runs in my family, and runs strongly; I’m a dancer, my mother used to give little performances for the family when she was a child (and put on accents for fun as a young woman), and my great-grandfather actually owned a movie theater in 1920s New York complete with a vast closet of costumes. Given this talent from one side of her family, and the other side of her pedigree coming from the most gorgeous-looking specimen I can find, the chances she’ll both be interested in it and it being a realistic possibility for her are high.
Also high is the chance she’ll turn out to be something like Billie Eilish, and not just because I’m wishing my daughter will turn out to be like one of my favorite people ever. Before turning her focus to music, Billie was primarily into dance, and I’m a dancer; she also came from the South Coast of California, which is where my daughter will be born and raised; Billie is also absolutely gorgeous, and so will my daughter.
The killer? For a long time whenever I listened to Billie sing it was like hearing the music of the spheres, registering in my mind as so soothing in a way that was…maternal. It seemed so odd that these bizarre songs and videos would evoke that reaction and that association in me, until I figured out that my mother’s singing voice has exactly the same quality to it as Billie’s! Without as much talent, mind you, but they sound eerily alike. Should Éowyn inherit her grandmother’s voice and some musical talent from somewhere, she just might fulfill one of my dreams: having a daughter like Billie.
Not that she’ll need to be; although fondly held, when it comes to dreams I have so many more than just that one. Nevertheless, it makes me almost giddy to think that this is something that could actually happen for me; it’s actually realistic.
Even more realistic to the point of certainty is me scoping out furnishings and decor for my new digs on the South Coast. A map of the world wallpaper? Could do. A big print of Emma Hamilton as Circe by George Romney? Could do. Speakers playing Richard Wagner at home? Could do. Furnishings all from Pottery Barn? Could do. Kitchen from Williams-Sonoma? Could do. Especially if it’s a small studio apartment next to the beach (downsizing from a three-bedroom house).
Under the California sun and the Pacific wind, I’ll read my baby the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Norse sagas, the Lord of the Rings, and Jules Verne. Forget the modern schlock that passes for “children’s literature”; this is what you need to fire a blossoming mind: myth and wonder. It’ll be even more fun for her to have a namesake in the form of a Lord of the Rings character.
Classic cinema too is on offer; I’ll finally have a dear little someone to share my library with, to see the look on their face as they experience the unique wonder of seeing the finest works of art our very own Hollywood has ever produced.
Toys? Forget the plasticated corporate monstrosities that line the shelves of our modern department stores; I and my daughter shall return to tradition, by playing with toys made of natural wholesome materials, toys that don’t impose a certain character to play or a certain story to tell, toys that you can make into whatever your imagination whispers to you in the realm of make-believe. Classic Melissa & Doug answers to that description, and will be my go-to.
Interestingly, I’ll actually be a second-generation customer of theirs; my own mother went gaga for their toys when (if I recall correctly) their store in northern Virginia first opened, being among their earlier customers. But I digress.
Above all, however, I’ll want to get Éowyn some good little friends, so she can grow up with the sort of friend group I was always denied as a child. That’s important; in my experience it’s vital to form social connections in childhood or you’ll always be left out and left behind. Even if you do as much as humanly possible deep into adulthood you’ll never have the sort of bond that people enjoy with their real friends; you’ll always be treated as if you’re inferior in some way.
That’s not going to happen to my daughter, because being on the South Coast and in a global capital full of smart, beautiful, and creative people, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult to find people my daughter can relate to. That goes for me too; while I’m at it even I could find some real companionship for myself, besides that of my child. I’ve heard nothing helps make friends better than having a small child in tow. And who knows: through this process, I might end up finding my special someone anyway.
Really, we’re going to have a great life together, me and my child, but it’s really just the minimum viable product as far as my dreams are concerned. There will still be so much to do, so much to hope for, so much to look forward to; we’re going to take on the world, and we’re going to win.