Of all the myths of parenthood, one of the biggest has to be that children can make you happy and fulfilled.
This, from Leslie Leyland Fields, author of ‘Parenting Is Your Highest Calling (and 8 other myths that trap us in worry and guilt.)’
The title should give any parent some pause and relief. As My Bride and I recently started reading it during our Sunday quiet time, it did just that.
I actually know Leslie – she taught at the Seattle Pacific University Creative Writing program of which I’m an alumni. Especially intriguing is that Leslie’s family life includes six children and one house in Kodiak, Alaska.
I had forgotten about this book, forgotten that I had bought it a couple of years ago, forgotten that at that time I had put inside it three bookmarks. Each of my kids had given me one, a little homemade gift as Dad travelled over the ocean from Africa for those studies.
They’re cut from three coloured papers and printed in crayon in that script that only a child can muster. The blue one says ‘Dad is great.’ The yellow one says ‘God is with you.’ The red one says ‘It is you.’
And, yes, it is me. And you. And every other parent who may not be fulfilled every moment of every day – what sort of lollypop life would that be? – but who is still happy to find surprise messages in surprise books on Sunday mornings.