Saturday, January 31, 2009


I wanted to share a quote with you today that I read over at Mentalmultivitamin.

It is taken from a book called Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

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.

I find so much truth in the above passage. Yet the final sentence gives me a bad feeling in my stomach.

The conclusion seems hopeless.

Can the job parenting be done right?

While we can not control the outcome, I do think our motivation and intentions matter.

I know they do.

I can not for a second think I would stop trying to teach and guide and love and care with the very best I could muster.

You may have to give up your dreams and pride and car keys...

Give up trying, never.

(BTW, ten years ago I would have disagreed with the whole passage. I thought I had it all figured out as far as parenting went.)


The following passage is from Hannah Coulter. I just read it last night and it was as if I wrote it...

p. 116

To be the mother of grown-up children means that you don't have a child anymore, and that is sad. When the grown-up child leaves home, this is sadder. I wanted Margaret to go to college, but when she actually went away it broke my heart. Maybe if you had enough children you could get used to those departures, but, having only three, I never did. I felt them like amputations. Something I needed was missing. Sometimes, even now, when I come into this house and it sounds empty, before I think I will wonder, "Where are they?"


You send your children to college, you do the best you can for them, and then, because you have to be, you're careful not to make plans for them. You don't want to be disappointed, and you don't want to burden them with your expectations either. But you keep a little thought, a little hope, that maybe they'll go away and study and learn and then come back, and you'll have them for neighbors. You'll have the comfort of being with them and having them for companions. You'll have your grandchildren nearby where you can get to know them and help to raise them. But that doesn't happen often anymore and you know better than to hope too much. Or you ought to.

Wendell, you took the words right out of my mouth.
(That is just freaky)

Any thoughts, ideas, opinions about these passages?

I would love to hear what you have to say.

Encourage one another,

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