I knew the minute I met Alden that we would be best friends. I mean, what’s not to love about a blue-eyed, curly-haired blonde five year old boy with a heart of gold? And did I mention his wicked intelligence?
As a bit of an intellectual snob myself, I adore his defining characteristic: being wise beyond his years. Consequently, on our conversations uptown we often discuss subjects most twenty five year olds wouldn’t dare broach. For example, yesterday, while recounting my weekend of roommate birthday-related celebrations, Alden stopped and asked, “Have you ever considered in vitro fertilization?”
A bit shocked at his perfect pronunciation of a scientific term that I still struggle to say, I exclaimed, “Um, what?” Maintaining his usual calm, he explained that while I had celebrated my favorite financier’s birthday, he had celebrated his sperm donor’s birthday.
You see Alden is a textbook example of a petri dish baby. He doesn’t have a father and likely never will, but he grasps– at five– that storks don’t just drop children off at unsuspecting adults’ doors. There is a scientific mechanism driving the creation of babies, and he has an intimate insider understanding of this process.
He also is like a dog with a bone, and when I stared in complete silence, he repeated his question. “Yaffa, don’t feel bad if you never get married. My mommy didn’t, and she still had me. And you know what, that donor, he fathered another petri dish baby– a little girl– and she’s like a sister to me.”
“Well, Alden, she is technically your half sister; you share half the same DNA.”
“You mean deoxyribonucleic acid, don’t you?”
I responded that now he was just showing off, and well, he had already more than proven his intelligence. But I also knew he was searching for an answer, and so I told him that I would consider IVF if and when I found myself the proud owner of two furry filenes named Jack and Jill. However, in the interim I was still clinging onto the hope of finding a husband and doing it all natural.
It was at that moment that I realized I was discussing my non-existent sex life with a five year old boy, who though wise beyond his years, probably didn’t need to know about my future romantic liaisons. He apparently shared this sentiment and ended our conversation by stating, “Can we go to Starbucks now?” Seriously, best friend for life.