For the Love of Children


So on the day our new president was being inaugurated, I was also texting my offspring. Who were, the two of them, standing on the Mall trying not to let their various appendages freeze. I encourage them not to lose body parts. The thing about being a mother is that you can watch something as historic and moving as the Inauguration of the United States of America’s first African American president in the context of our history as a slave-trading nation, and still your first thought just might be for the way it makes your children feel. I think maybe I should be ashamed of myself. On the other hand, maybe it’s OK. Clearly one of the few valid reactions to the problem of mortality is the love we each have the opportunity to feel for our children. Not everyone can seize the opportunity – poverty, sorrow, illness, war, may prevent it. But if you come from privilege, if you are secure enough materially to give you time to be worried about dying, then one thing that cures the horror even for a minute is to be overwhelmed by love for your own children. All runny-nosed, teenaged-texting, eye-rolling 275 pounds of them.

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