This should be the first entry into this weblog – why bother with babies at all?
First, there is the primeval, brain, heart, hormone and DNA-based urge to have children in most (not all) people. We are members of humanity and we value each other. We have, in reality, a short time here on earth to make a life and make a difference. Most want the full menu of human experience, including the bearing and raising of children. It is visceral.
In past times, having plenty of children meant survival. Children were contributors to the family and provided hands in the fields and in the home. With disease and accident claiming lives, it was necessary to have more Babies than now. Babies were so often lost that it was customary to give a new baby the same name as the last baby that had passed on before – a phenomenon that makes genealogy very interesting. In addition, there were few reliable ways of preventing them within the marital relationship. Family history records often show a two to three-year interval for the births of children. That is because breastfeeding provided some natural child spacing for many families. More on that later.
The desire for family is basic – and Babies are nice additions to families. Family is the primary unit of a civilized society. Each family is, in miniature, a society – hopefully civilized. The form may vary, but the ideal function is to provide a protective environment that creates security and opportunities for the members of that family. In short, having a Baby means having a future – for both society and the family. Babies are a manifestation of all who came before you.
Children are future adults, and future makers of families. If a moderately happy family exists, then we want to pass that on. Some cultures are intent with creating resources that allow future generations a better financial and educational platform on which to build. That way, success increases for each successive generation of Babies – as long as you have also passed along a strong work ethic. Otherwise, it is the three-generation trust fund kid story – first generation makes it, second builds it and spends it on the kids, third generation just spends it.
Even if you are in the No Babies group, I recommend Babies – some time and in some form. Find them within your family, or find them in places where there is not family to hold and guide them. Your capacity for love will grow to heights not possible without Babies. But so will your capacity for sorrow be deepened, as your heart will then be vulnerable to the law of commensurate highs and lows.
In spite of the risks, Babies are worth the trouble. If you have the choice, have a bunch of them. Let your heart rule on this one and have at least one more than you think you can afford. They actually cost less than the estimates in magazines report. Give them the best you have to offer and let them benefit from your mistakes – but stand back and let them make some of their own. Learn how Babies think and develop because that creates an opening to a tiny world of innocence and pure encounter that grounds the adult in life essentials. A reminder of life’s meaning becomes crystal clear when viewed through the eyes of a child.
Babies live life at its fullest and drag you along with them. Look them straight in the eye as often as you can. They will stare right back at you – complete strangers though you may be. They are not afraid, preoccupied, embarrassed, or locked down. They are open to the world. Having even one Baby in your life provides a ride you really don’t want to miss.