On The Dichotomy Of Children

Speaking biologically, having children is
your life’s purpose, the reason behind your
existence. Passage of your unique genes from
your parents to your offspring is your
contribution to posterity.

Creating children, all things considered, can be
one of the most pleasurable pastimes you’ll
engage in - in many lifetimes even! Yet,
the process can be fraught with difficulties
and even mortal danger.

Rearing children is life’s most important task.
Yet babies arrive sans instructions. Moreover,
children frequently feel free to abide by
almost none of the few rules that you
did manage to learn.

Your children constitute a full-time, 24 - 7 job,
from which there is scant real relief,
for which you receive no pay and all too
frequently, little thanks, but for which you
pay exorbitantly for the privilege.

After a dozen years of your Herculean effort,
your reward is for them to turn into…teenagers!
Now it becomes all too obvious they inherited more
of their genes from your spouse’s side of the family
than you probably would have preferred.

Adult children may become the source of great
satisfaction, pride, and even the occasional
nice present. Unfortunately, in some cases,
their child’s adulthood brings disappointment,
constant concern into the parents’ lives.

To recapitulate, one’s children may provide
life’s greatest pleasures, unexcelled joy. Or,
these same children may bring life’s greatest
disappointment and pain. Children come with
no warranty. Still they somehow remain worth
all the bother, all the risk.

Harry Edward Gilleland      1.30.02