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“No one in my family of origin seemed particularly enamored of that role,” Markoe writes in “Why I Never Had a Kid.” “The only thing I do recall hearing my mother and my grandmother repeat on a regular basis with regard to raising children was a heartwarming retort that went, ‘One day you’ll have kids of your own, and then we’ll see how much you like it.’ ”
She considers her decision something of a public service.
“My dogs, the only creatures on the planet marked by my singular nurturing imprint, have all turned out to be rude and self-absorbed,” Markoe writes. “In all likelihood, if they were children instead of dogs, I would have foisted more Charlie Sheens or Kardashians onto our crumbling culture.”
Mantel said an off-Broadway producer has approached her about adapting her book for the stage.
“Margaret Mead suggested that the generative impulse could be expressed in other ways,” she writes, “such as passing ideas on to the younger generation through teaching, writing or by inspiring example.”
In “No Kidding,” Mantel and her fellow writers answer that call: inspiring the next generation to give a clear-eyed look at all the paths before them and to choose the one that leads them to know their truest selves and does the greatest good.
For some, that may include parenthood. For others, it surely won’t.