About

Aging happens everyday, unnoticed. Then one day you are 60. You ask everyone you know how this has happened, and no one, least of all you, has an answer. You lift your head up, reassess, reorganize those priorities that have dogged you forever. For the first time, you understand the need for a bucket list. You make one. And because you think you might have a lot to say, you start a blog.

Susan B. Apel’s personal essays and creative nonfiction have been published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Siren Literary Journal, Image Magazine, Dartmouth Medicine, InTravel, American Vignette, ShriverReport.org, and the cultural journal, Rhizomes. She is a staff blogger for http://www.theuppervalley.com. She is a professor of law at Vermont Law School and adjunct professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She is known for her work in legal pedagogy, family law, women and the law, and reproductive technologies. Her scholarly work has appeared in numerous legal and interdisciplinary journals, reviews and anthologies, as well as in the Bioethics Forum of the Hastings Center. She has been a featured guest contributor to Gender and the Law Blog, and has her own blog, A Woman of a Certain Age, http://www.turning60blog.wordpress.com. She currently lives in Lebanon, NH.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: About | Turning60blog

  2. A bucket list and a blog. . .I like it!
    On a similar journey, I look forward to reading more of your blog.
    Happy New Year, and thank you for your words.

  3. Thank you – I appreciated your piece on “no kids & no regrets”. As you mention, there is a social expectation that everyone has children, so that for those who do not, there is often a need to justify or rationalize one’s choice to well-meaning third parties. As a fertile, happily married, professional couple, our affirmative choice to not have children is something others find shocking/disturbing/incomprehensible. I have always found it difficult to know to diplomatically respond to those who exclaim – No children??! But that’s crazy – you two would have been wonderful parents?! The vast majority of child-free by choice persons state, “I didn’t want children because it wasn’t good for me/us”. This makes sense, to each their own, yet my reasons for choosing not to have children are not quite the same – in my view, it’s not about what I want, what my husband wants or what we want as a couple, but an analysis based on the “best interests of the child” for those children who would come of age and live in the context of the 21st century. This child centered view recalls the Convention on the Rights of the Child & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the way, the US is likely to remain the ONLY nation to refuse to ratify that CRC, which is some indicator of the very limited rights to protection, welfare and status of children born in the US society). While there exists no normative social frame, if I personally accept as true that my child should enjoy their rights both as children – and human beings – while knowing the nation in which my child is born neither recognizes nor ensures those rights, then the question becomes am I in a position to act as the guarantor – no only for the child, but also for the adult and older person by child would – hopefully – become. Ideally, offspring can take care of themselves & all we be well, yet we all know of sad cases where that does not come to pass. As a parent, I recognize that it is I who chooses to bring a human life into being – it is outside the control of the child. Thus, are we not responsible – morally if not legally or socially – for assuring and guaranteed the basic rights of children and of human beings we choose to cream? And if one is not in a position to act as an absolute guarantor, then is having a child in the best interest of the child – or is it merely the interest of the adult who must have a child in order to live a “whole life”. I would argue that if one can return to the “best interest of the child” test & if a reasonable person would choose the circumstances of birth/existence in the 21st century & ensure the basic human rights of the person for the lifetime of the person created, then parenthood may be a good choice – assuming the second test (is it good for me) also hold true. If not for the best interest of the child, I believe that procreation is a natural animal drive, but not necessarily a more choice. What does it mean when putting the desire to be a mommy/daddy before a considered and objective analysis of the best interest and welfare of the human created – particularly in a very dynamic 21st century where basic social, economic, stability, security outcomes are far from assured.

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