I love kids. I love my nephew, my partner’s niece, our friends’ kids, unsuspecting four-year-olds that I try to lure into my van with candy, all of them. They bring me joy, they light up my heart, they give me hope for a better world, because as pre-crack Whitney Houston once said, the children are our future.

Yes, I love kids. I’ve always loved kids.

But after what just happened, I think I may no longer love kids.

Last week, my partner and I (and 15 other friends) went on a cruise to Mexico. We’ve been on a number of cruises, mostly international ones that left out of places like London, Barcelona, etc., where the children on board numbered maybe 50.

This was a cruise to Mexico. Over Thanksgiving week. Leaving out of LA, where most of the schools gave kids the whole week off. And among the 3,500 passengers were at least 1,000 kids – of all ages, from roughly 15 minutes post-epidural to teens.

And all, seemingly, unsupervised.

Apparently, there’s an underground network of parents who know that if you take your kids on a cruise, you can be off getting hammered somewhere while they’re busy depositing bowls of cereal in the elevators, tearing through the adults-only pool area screaming like burn victims, and throwing up in the swimming pools.

After all, you can’t really lose them. Little kids are too short to fall overboard, and the older ones are too busy popping their zits in the hot tubs and hitting on each other in the buffet lines to try. And what better place to unload your offspring than into the arms of 998 other kids who would love nothing more than to try to either, a): beat them senseless with a floating noodle in the water park  or, b:) make out with them.

It appears that what I really should say is, “I love well-behaved kids.” “I love properly dressed kids.” I love sanitary, non-pukey kids.” “I love chaperoned kids.”

So, really, it seems quite clear to me that I do, in fact, love kids.

Provided we’re sailing on the Queen Mary.

In 1937.