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what if my children turn out to be awful people?

We've had a hard time with the children this week. They've been acting as if they were raised by wolves. Wolves who are also assholes. Wolves who are assholes but who have nevertheless managed to induce in their children an addiction to apple juice.

Sometimes the children are all sweetness and light, like at a party last weekend where Harvey banged a drum enthusiastically with a kiddie music class and Zion announced, "Where's Harvey? There's Harvey! I love Harvey!"

Other times Harvey is just looking for ways to be bad, like taking Zion's toy out of his hands and throwing it out the door. And then Zion bites him. Which, you know, gets me out of coming up with a punishment.

I don't want this to turn into a discussion of disciplinary methods - I'm perfectly comfortable with mine though I know other people make other choices. But whether you are practicing "love and logic" or spanking or enforcing no limits at all... parenting just sucks sometimes, huh? If any other human being treated you in this way you would stop being around that person. If a spouse screamed "I WANT A COOKIE!" and then hit you, you would try a separation. If a coworker grabbed your breast every time you sat down you'd have him fired. But if your child does these things, and it's only noon, your only option is to continue loving and serving him for the next eight hours.

Your children. Sometimes you love them because they're lovable, and sometimes you love them because it's your obligation.

Because those people who are unreasonably violent? The molesters? They are my actual children, and I am responsible for them becoming different from this. I am responsible for them becoming human beings unlike the human beings they currently are. And while I do this I am simultaneously their victim and their jailer. Their forgiving victim and their loving jailer.

Put this way it sounds like a tall order on short amounts of sleep.


"Their forgiving victim and their loving jailer.

Put this way it sounds like a tall order on short amounts of sleep."

Amen to that! And quite profoundly put, I must say.

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