Saturday, January 10, 2009

Something I read while on vacation

“I have watched painful relationships between parents and children. I have seen parents who control and parents who neglect, parents who make terrible mistakes that hurt their children deeply, and parents who forgive children who have done awful things. I have seen nobility and courage; I have seen dreadful selfishness and utter blindness; and I have seen all these things in the SAME parents, raising the same children.

What I understand now is this. There is no harder job than parenting. There is no human relationship with such potential for great achievement and awful destructiveness, and despite all the experts who write about it, no one has the slightest idea whether any decision will be right or best or even not-horrible for any particular child. It is a job that simply cannot be done right.”

(Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile, 2008, p. 300).

I have numerous philosophical, religious, and moral differences with Orson Scott Card. I've been a science fiction geek for many, many years, and Ender's Game was definitely one of the novels that touched me early, and deeply, and in a lot of ways really encouraged me to become an SF geek. The last five or six books of his that I've read have only served to inform my decision not to buy any more of his books- with his stance on gay marriage (among other things), I made a choice not to support him financially any more by buying any more of his books.

That decision went by the wayside (I'm weak), when I found myself in the middle of the ocean without anything to read, and picked up Ender in Exile from the ships' library.

I was lucky in that I really had a happy childhood. My biological parents were divorced early in my life, but I ended up with a truly wonderful stepfather and basically had a pretty great upbringing. It's always seemed kind of weird to me that so many of my friends hadn't, and that they still truly love parents who (in my opinion), have done horrendous things to them. I've never really understood how they can still "love" their parents after some of the things that have been done to them.

I also look at this quote in the context of me sending Dylan away to live in a group home- although it was (I still believe), the right decision for all of us (including him), I'm not sure that he'd see it the same way if I could understand his communication.

There really isn't any possibility that anyone is prepared to become a parent, or any possibility that children are prepared for the parents that they are born to. Every child deserves love, and nurturing, and the chance to be whatever they can be. And although I think that this quote could imply an exculpation for parents, I don't believe that's how it's intended...I think that it's saying that we can't always know the outcomes of our decisions for our children, and sometimes bad decisions can go hand in hand with the good decisions that we make for our children. I don't think that I've made too many bad decisions for my kids (although I'm sure that I have)...I just hope that when they're older, they realize that I made the decisions that I've made with the best of intentions. None of us have practice in this, and I believe that in a "good" family, we all learn from each other.

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Cat turns up on weatherman's set

BBC NEWS | Europe | Cat turns up on weatherman's set

Very cute :-) It probably would have caused a meltdown in a North American studio :-)

(we're home safely- trip pictures coming soon!)

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