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“The first fact that distinguishes the human species from all others is that we are born too soon. We arrive, incapable of taking care of ourselves for something like fifteen years. Puberty doesn’t come along for twelve years or more, and physical maturity doesn’t arrive until our early twenties. During the greater part of this long arc of life, the individual is in a psychological situation of dependency. We are trained, as children, so that every stimulus, every experience, leads us simply to react, “Who will help me?” We are in a dependent relationship with our parents. Every situation evokes parental images: “What would Mommy and Daddy want me to do?” Freud made a great point of this dependence.”
–Joseph Campbell

I came across this passage and I liked it for various reasons.  I read it and re-read it, trying to grasp it all and decipher it in my mind.  I thought about it for a few days and even discussed it with Mom2be. I have been thinking of concepts such as the one described above during times that I have asked myself, “What is the role of a father?”  and “What kind of father do I want to be?” 

The passage above just solidifies for me a very important concept that I had thought about, but had been unable to put into words so far–the fact that my child will be completely dependent on me and his mother.  As a father, some of my many roles are to be the provider, the guardian of the family, the teacher, the role model (this is a whole other post!).  Being a father is a huge responsibility and I must rise up to the challenge.  The passage also makes it “concrete” to me the fact that a child’s relationship with his or her mother and father is probably the most important factor in the development of the child. I made a mental note to remind myself of that importance everyday–as parents, my wife and I will be the most important factor in the development of our child. Read the rest of this entry »

“We are guilty of many errors and many faults but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow.’ His name is ‘Today.’”

–Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral (April 7, 1889 – January 10, 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat and feminist who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother’s love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Indian and European influences.

I told a friend that my wife and I were expecting our first child, and he responded with these verses:

  1. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
  2. Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
  3. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

I am not a Bible scholar. Its been many years since I “studied” the Bible, but here goes:

  1. I think the first one means that if one is a righteous person, your children will be blessed and will never go hungry.
  2. I think the second one means that if you have faith in God, God will be good to you.
  3. I think the third one means that children are like “arrows”, and if you have a lot of children or arrows, your children will defend you when you are old.

I’m taking this to mean (unless the Lord or someone tells me otherwise) in a nutshell:

  1. Be a good and righteous parent and love your children because your children are a gift from God.
  2. If you do #1, then God will take care of you and all of the rest of the small stuff.

The cites are Psalms 37:25; 55:22; 127:3-5 if you are interested.