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
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
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.