The indignation at Parks’
decision to have “everyone end up married with kids” never made sense to me. It
was solely focused on April decision to have kids, but I do not believe that that decision
was out of character. April has always needed a little push when it comes to change,
when it comes to the decisions in her life. She needed guidance on growing up
and getting dishes, she needed guidance on changing jobs, she needed
reassurance that taking that job was okay and she needed a final push to
actually decide if she wanted kids. Leslie didn’t say April needed to have kids
to be complete. She didn’t tell April that Andy needed them. She told April
that she could handle the change they would bring. She reminded April that she
had a good team and if she decided to have kids everything would be okay.
This struggle for April is in character. It is a critical part
of who she is. The problem wasn’t the kids themselves but the change that
comes along with them.
Pay attention to what April
actually freaks out about in her rant: “You know why it is so unfair? Because you
guys got so lucky. You had sex one time and you had three kids and they’re all smart
and great and healthy. And now your lives are perfect, but our life is pretty
perfect already. And you know what? Kids act the opposite of their parents that’s
why your kids are so cool! But Andy and I are cool already so our kids will be
really lame and weird! I’m sorry. I don’t know what to do. Please tell me what
to do. What do I do?”
You know what that sounds
like? It sounds a lot like a 13 years younger April freaking out about becoming
a boring grown up. She has an aversion to change. It doesn’t make her less. It
makes her human and it makes it even more special that she has great people
around her to help her through the change at her own pace.
Andy didn’t push her
either. Ben says, “So April is still on the fence about kids?” That implies
that there was never a formal decision made. The “position” was established
back in Season five where April stated, “I want to wait until we’re fifty and
then adopt a set of creepy adult twins from Romania.”
That’s April’s weird way of
saying she wants them but not for a very, very long time.
truly believe we should be celebrating this character development instead of
tearing it down. It’s an important avenue to explore for woman. The idea that
sometimes we really do not know what we want. We don’t have to make a decision
if we want kids at 15 or 20 or 25 or 30 or 35 or 40. We can remain open to the
idea. We can change our minds. We can adapt to our partner’s needs and wants
(adapting is different than adopting let me be clear). We are allowed to decide
after 30 years of never wanting kids that we want them now. We can decide after
25 years of daydreaming about motherhood that the actual reality is not for us.
It is crucial that we retain authority over our own future for the entirety of
it. There’s nothing wrong with not having a definite answer to such an
overwhelming question. I believe it is a terrible disservice we do to
other woman to lock them into decisions. We have the ability to change our
minds or to be as undecided as we want. We also have the ability to make a
decision about our future and stick to it.
and motherhood are massive decisions. They’re our decisions, our contracts. They’re
made one woman at a time. That timeline is solely property of that individual
person and the decision can remain as flexible as she chooses. There’s room for
footnotes or clauses. There’s also room for permanent seals. Let’s stop putting
so much pressure and judgement on each other’s decisions or lack there of.
glad Parks decided to depict a woman without a real clear idea of what she
wants. It’s refreshing to see apprehension and worry at the complexity of this
massive decision we all face.