“There was no part of me, as we rushed to the emergency room that night, that wished my daughter gone and my freedom restored. Not the slightest part of me thought I should be happier without her. Instead, I knew with terrible certainty that if this small, fragile, quivering creature against my chest were to leave me, she would take all my joy with her. And no part of me would have preferred that she had never come to be, if she could only be for thirteen months and then be no more. Her thirteen months had made my life worth living.”
I don’t have children, but this post is well-written and exemplary in explaining the burning desire we as humans have to procreate and bring more like us into this world.
His main points are that we have children 1) because our love overflows, 2) because they make us human, and 3) because they teach us to love.
I have to say that I agree with all of those points.
Spending as little as 10 minutes with a baby or a toddler changes your world experience, even for just that brief moment of time. It can be exhausting, being hyper-alert to the potential dangers around you while that child is in your care; suddenly everything emerges as a completely different entity when there’s a baby around. Writing utensils become weapons of potential mass destruction, furniture become hazardous obstacles, and things like drawer handle that normally protrude down around our knees suddenly threaten toddlering little eyeballs.
Spending that same amount of time with an inquisitive young child is even more different, because the questions we so long ago asked ourselves now find themselves on the lips of this observing child. Everything is a mystery, everything is a question, and there can be no plethora of answers deep enough to answer all of those questions. It may get annoying, sure, but you know as well as I that those answers, however flippantly or carefully given, shape our perception of the question we asked, the answer we received, and the person with whom we interacted in the process. I still have memories of asking certain questions and getting hilarious or stiffened answers …. and we learn how to proceed from there.
This is all just a long, roundabout way of saying that yes, I agree it is true that children do change our lives, in an unimaginable and self-sacrificing way…. and I don’t even have any. (yet?)