Sunday, May 13, 2018


The best part of my education about mothers is the British show "Call the Midwife."  I can see that giving birth to a child is just the beginning of motherhood. Carrying a child and growing it inside your own body has got to be a challenging and inspiring experience, but it usually ends about 9 months after it starts.  Mothering more or less goes on for the rest of the mother's life, I guess. I know that fatherhood goes on but of course, for both parents, parenting is quite different after the child has grown.

When is a person grown up?  I have heard that in some cultures, a person is grown when she or he becomes a parent.  On the other hand, that situation may be just the time when one sees one's own parents in a more respectful light.  As time goes by, it gets clearer what one's parents did, how they nurtured, protected, respected and sometimes, were surprised by what their children became, decided, affiliated with, or dropped from their lives.  

I keep hearing that many young people today are hesitant to have children.  Sometimes, the mother's career calls for more time at work before having a child.  Sometimes, a couple is unsure about managing parenthood. The circumstances of their lives may make children a questionable role.

As a young man, I expected to work for decades and I thought about what sort of occupation seemed likely to engage my interest and energy sufficiently to enable me to do a credible job for the duration of my working years.  The book "What Color is Your Parachute?" by Richard Bolles is a good one for taking a look at the world of work and thinking about where one might be sufficiently happy to do a good job for a long time.

But even before I was 20 years old, the idea of being a husband and a father seemed far more real, grounded, natural and appealing than any sort of occupation or work.  I can see that we humans do all sorts of things that are not natural in any sense. We routinely travel at superhuman speeds, communicate fully and deeply without being physically close to each other, prepare food on specially-made devices and sleep on artificial beds. But it is still basically the case that we all have a mother.  I hope your mother is as good for you as mine was for me. Hurray for mothers!

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