By: Jen Kirkman

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Am I That Childless Creep?

I work on a TV show and today our little late-night show had the World's Smallest Horse, Thumbelina on set. She is the spawn of two ‘miniature ponies ‘who fell and love and made a baby. Thumbelina came out even smaller than a miniature pony. She is known as a mini-mini pony, or if you prefer, a dwarf pony.
I have been looking forward to her arrival more than my co-workers children who came in for the event. And these kids were distracted once they left the set by the next interesting thing placed in front of them. They are not able to discern yet whether the World's Smallest Horse or a squishy, over-sized ball are equally fascinating or not.
I was touched by being in Thumbelina's presence. I cried when we “met” and I insisted that one of my bosses snap multiple pictures of me and this horse. She has a sweetness about her, that little mini horse. Her bio goes something like this – she wasn't supposed to live long or be able to do much but she overcame the odds and now is the head honcho of the farm that she lives on. She spends her time travelling the country visiting kids with cancer and vets at Walter Reed Hospital.
Hang on. I have to wipe my nose. Now my nose is running because I've learned to cry through every orifice in my face.
I'm a Childless By Choice human being. No, I won't change my mind. Yes, career is my number one goal and I CAN”T have it all, nor do I want it. My husband-to-be feels the same way. This is why we are a good match and I'm no longer with my last boyfriend who couldn't wait to leave L.A. to start a family whereas I moved to L.A. to avoid “family.”
So, anyway I enjoy things that kids enjoy and perhaps with more gusto than an actual child does. The people at work who have kids simply remained adults who seemed touched and happy for their kid to meet The World's Smallest Horse. If anything they lived vicariously, and appropriately so, through their kid. Let their kid ooh and ahh and their adulthood remains intact.
On the other hand, I was on my knees hugging the horse and whispering to her that she is a very good soul. She has done so much for so many. More than I'll ever do. Although I've never done my act for dying kids or injured soldiers. Perhaps, I could bring a smile to their faces with my jokes about sex.
Anyway, my friend at work asked me, “Are you really into animals?” I said, “Actually no. I'm just into things that are cute.” It's true. I hate dogs and I'm not really fond of normal-sized horses. I love tuxedo cats but I'm so partial to them that I can't really get cuddly with a Tabby
I realized in that moment that becuase I am childless and enjoy things that are seemingly “for kids” that kind of makes me that creep – I'm not quite as bad as Michael Jackson building Neverland but even he had to start somewhere. First, I snuggle with the World's Smallest Horse and then I'm buying a Llama and wearing surgical masks. This is the latest obstacle in my Childless Lifestyle. When I clap my hands at your cute baby and I don't know you, I'm that lingering wacko whose intentions aren't clear because I'm not a mother myself. I need to stand back and let the children enjoy the small horses and I need to show a little dignity.
Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and get excited about putting up my Christmas tree next week.

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