We are so concerned that our children be responsible, mature and intelligent, we
often overlook their happiness. But happiness may be the key to the successful life.
Frequently we consider happiness to be an incidental side-effect, but what goal is
more to be desired?
What a wonderful legacy it would be if we were to expect our children to be happy.
It might be that once happiness was achieved other values such as responsibility,
maturity and intelligence would follow.
It's difficult to tell someone who has never had the experience what it is like to
be a parent. We don't want to be cynical and list only the problems, nor do we want to
be sentimental and recite only joys. We try to present a balanced view providing a
fair share of both difficulties and thrills. If we are true to ourselves, it is likely
that we will conclude by claiming that parenthood is one of the wonders and rewards of
And so it is. We, however, should note that in the midst of the fun and
fulfillment, along with the complexities and labors there is a goodly share of
outright terror. There are sleepless nights, nagging fears, and the churning notion
that tragedy is just beyond our sight. It may be that we will be lucky enough to
escape the tragedy and the terror has no basis in fact. But terrible things do happen,
and our worst fears are possible realities.
Regardless of the terror, we, like our forebears behind us and our prodigy before
us, still willingly praise parenthood. We know the threatening Furies, but love makes
the suffering tolerable. We will work on the problems, labor to transform the
difficulties into potentials, keep the fear under some control, live with the terror
that inhabits our quiet moments, and weep until our tears run dry, because love
finally enables us to be parents.
Parenthood is pain and terror and suffering, but most of all it is love. In the
midst of all which hurts and in spite of the tears, the awareness that we have loved
and have been loved is reward enough.