Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old News

Tonight I chaperoned a school dance and was reminded how these are the people who, biologically speaking, should be getting pregnant. 15- to 18-year-olds are clearly in the prime of their fertility lives--you can see it in the girls' struts and the boys' hungry eyes. The film "Juno" recently brought teen pregnancy back into mainstream conversation and, although I would never advocate teen pregnancy, it does make biological sense to have babies when you're young, energetic, idealistic and physically resilient.

I have to laugh at myself and my 30-year-old body: it can't compete with what I saw at the dance tonight. That's fine. I'm not old by today's pregnancy standards, but biologically speaking, it's easy to envision the difference between my eggs and theirs. In fact, if we followed Nature's lead, I'd be chaperoning my own 15-year-old daughter at the dance! This reminds me of just how artificial our lives are in so many ways. Getting pregnant is the most "natural" thing a woman can do in many ways, but waiting to do so until you're 30 is wildly unnatural. I'm not saying that anything "natural" is inherently better, but there is something shocking in how far we've come from that biological pattern.

Seeing those kids flirting tonight reminded me of just how strong those primal drives to reproduce are at that age, and I sometimes feel nostalgic for those raging hormones, even though they cause so much trouble.

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