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Parenting on the Brink: Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name


#1

Parenting on the Brink: Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name

Frida Berrigan

Madeline is in the swing, her face the picture of delight. “Mo, mo,” she cries and kicks her legs to show me that she wants me to push her higher and faster. I push, and push, and push with both hands. There is no thought in my head except for her joy. I’m completely present in this moment. It’s perfection. Madeline embodies the eternal now and she carries me with her, pulling me out of my worries and fears and plans.


#2

If you really want to see the future, see if you can find a copy of the movie THREADS made by the BBC. That is as real as it gets.


#3

If the world were a single living being, the doctors would be close to declaring it mortally ill and the priests would be on the way to administer last rites. We need more voices like Frida Berrigan, mindful, serious, prophetic. What we don't need are more so-called "experts" and "pundits." These people in fields like political science, economics, business and education, have literally ruined the world. Their pronouncements are generally bogus; their prescriptions are disastrous. Their efforts have led to massive increases in inequality and the environment has been devastated by their short-sighted labors for Big Capital. The experts tell us that the tragic future will never arrive because there is always a technological fix, because the marines are coming and because God is just. Frida Berrigan points out that the terrible future is just around corner. In fact, in some ways the dystopian future is already here. The only ethical question is how does one save the future for the children?


#4

"Children need to be protected from strangers, bumblebees and electrical outlets". BUMBLEBEES ??????

Bumblebees need to be protected from you, me, your children and the rest of the human race if you are serious about saving your daughter or anybody else from environmental disaster. Bumblebees provide a lot of pollination, and unlike wasps, are not aggressive.


#5

Bob Dylan said it all the way back in 1963, in Masters of War:
You've thrown the worst fear that can ever be hurled:
fear to bring children into the world.

I've thought about it a million times, especially since I had my first child. Even though I love my children so dearly, I can't bring myself to be enthusiastic about them having kids themselves. I say, it's like you're sentenced to life in prison, and a genie gives you a wish, and you say "I wish I had my favorite people in the world here in prison to keep me company."

Still, maybe together we can engineer some kind of revolution, or escape. My own dad always said, sharing a motto of the wisest of his generation, "Keep the faith."


#7

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#8

Maybe she has a sister who has no kids, or one kid. Would that make you happy? You have no idea at all about her extended family and how many children they might or might not have. Your reaction is knee-jerk. I have two daughters and four grandchildren. One has one kid, one has three. That's replacement level, and it makes me happy.


#10

Reasonable sentiments, but I'd hoped the article would touch more deeply on something else as well. Along with its other ills, perhaps central to them, Western society is little able to raise kids. The economic and hierarchical relationships that have come to be regarded as normal are deeply devisive. The family that has come to be regarded as normal is not adequate to its most central task, the raising of relatively untraumatized children. It's not the end of the world, granted, in some of the ways that some of these other things may well be. But if we keep raising people to be crazy, it shouldn't be altogether surprising that they might let the world end.


#11

Dumb response. She's being real. We have to be real. Do you know why? Because, professional sports, using casinos to create jobs, because the amount of consumer items produced is just not even understandable. We ARE NOT MAKING A DENT in emissions reductions so far... and we think we can PLAY games that cause people to fly all over the country/world, drive to and then the damn stadiums use enormous amounts of electricity.. and I hope people are realizing that I am using this ONE activity to symbolize our, what, stupidity, a naïve thinking, greed and power lust? What to hell is it that people do not get. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO DO THOSE THINGS ANYMORE.... we are at the last second before the clock ticks to midnight. WHY TO HELL DO PEOPLE STILL THINK WE CAN DO ALL THESE WASTEFUL THINGS?. WHY AREN'T WE DEMANDING THE SHUT DOWN OF ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS BEFORE WE ARE FIGHTING OVER TE OIL TO SHUT THEM DOWN WITH.... EVEN MORE THAN WE ARE NOW????


#12

Don't worry; the sun will never set on the British Empire..........there will always be an England..........


#13

I found myself seeking another's opinion on Syria this morning. He is a soldier working in NATO. But i realise i can barely face the craziness in my own home. And the world starts with home. To face the Unspoken, this is the matter. Reframe the issues- as is possible in dialogue- full attention, with all energy. It starts at home. And, how essential it is for me to read an article like this: like our 'primitive' ancestors hunting a huge beast together, Seeking together perspective.


#14

In my experience wasps are very docile, at least the paper wasps that are so abundant here (there are several hundred varieties, al least, of wasps.) I have worked within several feet of wasp nests, and being careful to move slowly, was left unbothered. Maybe you're thinking about hornets which are very aggressive and very dangerous? Yet hornets too perform functions which not only fit into the balance of things but unbeknownst to us, are beneficial to us.


#15

I Interpreted caution over bumblebees to concerns over anaphylactic shock, other severe reactions to stings, and just getting stung repeatedly. A bumblebee, unlike the honeybee, can sting multiple times and will, if their nest is invaded or they feel threatened. They are known to chase invaders up to a quarter mile. For young children, honeybees, which are desirable in gardens, are often depicted as friendly in media. Isn't that little bee who hustles Honey-nut Cheerios cute as a button?

Parenting is so hard, from the most mundane things like bumblebees to global policies, the threats are enormous. Berrigan hit all the right notes for me with this piece; I had two children in my mid thirties. They are both in college now, and I had and still have the same worries (not so much over bumblebees any more) articulated by her over the world they will inherit. I raised two people to be change agents in this world as did many other parents. I hope the next generation succeeds; life on this planet depends very much upon them at this point. It's really a shame that human survival is coming down to random parenting techniques as opposed to government taking appropriate and concerted action.


#16

There will always be oddballs and eccentrics, and quite a few of them live in England.


#17

I often think back. FDR had the answer and I still remember him saying it.
* "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
* His solution was to set fear aside and rebuild, heal, to remove the cause of fear.
* Sadly, the current "Solution" is to find and exaggerate any fear, whip it to a frenzy, then find targets, scapegoats, for the population to turn its frenzy upon and destroy. Then find more fear to promote.
* Meanwhile, they can sit back and enjoy the enormous profits generated by this fear.
* We could sure use another FDR, another JFK, MLK, but I'm sure they would be demonized and probably shot before they could disturb the status quo.
;-})


#18

And long may they do so!