…and not just because I’d been told he was “extremely intelligent” and “made beautiful babies”, although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t appealing.
As I said in my last post, the thought of having to explain to my hypothetical offspring why I chose the 50 per cent of their genes that weren’t mine rather focuses the mind, and so my darling hypothetical offspring, here is why I chose these genes…
It sounds a little ridiculous to say that I chose a donor who, had I encountered him on a dating website, I would have wanted to date. But in many ways, it makes perfect sense. On a basic evolutionary level, dating is the search for the genetics that you want to pair with your own. Why then wouldn’t I want a donor that I would date? (Also as my pal R pointed out, should I have a child and then end up in a relationship, if my hypothetical offspring is of a type that I might have had with my hypothetical future partner, then it all sort of fits together — if you follow what I mean…I know, there’s a lot of hypotheticals in there.)
Anyway, I totally have a type with men. Physically I’m attracted to those that share my colouring and are a bit taller than me, and mentally I’ve always been drawn to those who I felt were doing something I might have done in a parallel life. So it was, perhaps, almost a prerequisite that the donor I chose would fulfil these criteria. And he does.
But it’s not just that. What really swung it was the stuff that he wrote about himself, his background, his reasons for becoming a donor, the things that were important to him. Yes, it sounded as if we’d had similar middle-class, Home-Counties backgrounds, which was nice. But more than that he sounded intelligent, interesting, interested in the world around him, altruistic, thoughtful and — in something that’s probably a good counterpoint to me — laid back.
Then there were the things that weren’t about ticking boxes, the things he wrote that even thinking about now, bring a lump to my throat. In the message to any hypothetical offspring he wrote that any child conceived the way they were would always know that they had really been wanted, and that parenting was about more than conception, it was about years of love and support. He also wrote that his door would always be open if any hypothetical child wanted to find out more, or was curious.
(I mean maybe in 18 years time when he’s not a wide-eyed, 20-something student (I’m guessing here) and is a 40-something with his own family, he might feel differently about a succession of teenagers banging on his door, but I liked the sentiment.)
There’s a passage from Lynn Barber’s book, An Education that talks about why she married her husband. She writes:
David was good. He was thoroughly kind, thoroughly truthful, thoroughly decent.
That’s how I feel about this donor. And while I know that it’s nurture, not nature, that plays a big role in that, picking someone like that to provide the other half of my hypothetical offspring, made me feel good.