Author: Jennifer Thomas

Get advice from three generations of Thompson women: Sara (age 90), Lydia (age 60), and Willa (age 15)! They all receive the same questions but answer independently. Today they discuss the most-asked question of the year!

Dear Thompsons,

My partner and I are arguing about whether to have children. I want a baby, but he’s reluctant. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Is it fair to bring a child into the world today, given humanity’s uncertain future? Is it selfish to have a baby—or to not have one?


Dear Cautious,

Sixty years ago, I didn’t want children. I was a newly minted aerospace engineer, happy to focus on my job and my marriage. But birth control was unavailable, I was careless, and Lydia came along. With no childcare options, I lost my job. My husband, disgusted with my “diminished horizons,” left me.

Despite all that, Lydia was the best thing that ever happened to me. She gave me something to live for. I wish I could have paid more attention to her, but she turned out fine. When the inundation began, we hit the lottery and got to relocate together. I’ve been able to help out with Willa and keep the family’s spirits up.

What does my story have to do with you, Cautious? I’ve learned that our desires have little to do with how life unfolds—and sometimes children just want to come. My advice is to loosen up and don’t overthink it. Even here, the kids will be all right.

Kind regards,
Sara W. Thompson

Dear Cautious,

You and your partner are right to be cautious. My mom will tell you I was the best thing that ever happened to her. She tells me that too, but it wasn’t easy for us. Especially the time we lived in her car. Maybe that’s why I waited so long to have children myself.

I got pregnant once our family settled into one of the new 3-D printed bubbles. We were thrilled when Willa arrived, with her lusty yell and thatch of hair. But think about it: no outdoor play, few companions, no school. I’d say she was a free-range child, except there’s no range. I’m not sure what she has to look forward to.

I don’t foresee changes here any time soon. Take that into account in your decision. And beware of the zealots urging baby-making for home-planet repopulation. Sara, who was a scientist, says they’re telling us a fairy tale.

You might find the hardest part of parenting is knowing when to stop lying to your children.

Lydia T.

Hey cautious I say don’t bother being cautious do what your heart says if you want a baby have one if your partner says no use some frozen sperm or I know someone who might help you what else is there to live for besides new life nothing ever changes here nobody has time for me we’re just trying to stay alive and we’re just waiting but I don’t know what for I heard there’s progress on earth so who knows maybe when baby cautious gets older they’ll see trees growing and birds flying and fish swimming like sara tells me from before the water and cockroaches took over and maybe when people return to earth they’ll have a big parade like I’ve seen on the vids you can go with your baby maybe I can go with you I’ll be 16 earth years old soon good luck love willa