16 December 2010

This is Not Eden

There is a remarkable helplessness a parent (I) experience(s) when unhappy occurrences happen to their (my) children. Broken bracelets, broken legs, broken hearts. There are disappointments we (I) would really hope our (my) children never experience though we (I) know painfully that such protection is futile. We (I) don’t live in Eden, and we (I) have to earn our (my) food on the hard, difficult ground by the sweat of our (my) brow; having children will bring us (me) pain. They will experience pain.
And yet . . . I know no way that I know to prepare a child for great disappointment.  Nor would I want my child to go through life without such experiences because then she would become horribly spoiled—with the emphasis here placed on horribly. She would then learn to expect that every wish be fulfilled, and that whatever she desires she may acquire. It’s a child’s ideal view of the breast: whenever hungry, food is instantly available. And that denies the very nature of Desire. Rather, I would have her learn to transfer her desires toward another object equally attractive though not identical to the unattained object. To find another object she didn’t know yet that she had lost.
Perhaps that might be what I put on my gravestone: it was not Eden though it was Paradise.


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