Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Children - A Most Precious Gift (To Some of Us)

Boy, sorry for the short blogging absence. Halloween kept me busy with party planning and running around trying to find stuff for Preston's fire fighter costume. Seems that stores no longer stock reflective tape for Halloween, which is weird because it's great for safety and artistic reasons.

Anyway, I came across this article by C.R. Hardy last week from National Review Online that aptly describes the anti-child attitude of many Americans nowadays--they're not necessarily all blue-staters either

According to my fair-minded fellow Cambridge residents, I was an overpopulation nut-case. The snickers and sneers were insufferable -- most especially when I was out with my boys in a double stroller, pushing them along with my pregnant, over-sized mid-section. You could see the astonished eyes looking first at the stroller, then at my belly, then quickly at my face (to see if I was real, I assume), and then embarrassingly shifting to a store front or a passing car. Then the person would whisper to a smiling companion, well within my hearing, "She's having another one!"

This has never happened to me personally since I have only one child right now, but one of my friends experiences this quite often--she is a mother of 4. If it had been up to me, I would have 3 or 4 kids already but I have had to be patient. This anti-kid attitude is a little hard for me to understand as a Christian. In my church (the LDS church) children are seen as a blessing and a sacred stewardship. One of the first songs a child learns at church is I Am a Child of God. Children are taught that they are each a spiritual son or daughter of God and that God loves them. It is not unusual for members of my church to have 4, 5, or 6 kids. I know a few families that have even larger families (I can hear the collective gasp of zero population folks all over the globe).

Ms. Hardy goes on to describe the changes in Harvard square that she attributes to the declining interest in child-rearing in that area.

My favorite sign of the times is that in my absence the GapKids that used to occupy the second floor of one of the Harvard Co-op buildings in Harvard Square was replaced with a GapBody. For those of you uninitiated into the world of Gap-lingo, allow me to explain. The Gap is a ridiculously trendy apparel company that caters to young people, and adults who want to dress like young people.... GapBody is the newest spin-off. It peddles ridiculously trendy undergarments and comfy apparel for women, because, as goes their motto, "there's no secret to being sexy...feeling good is the sexiest thing of all." And so, considering that those marketing majors at The Gap are well aware that Harvard Square is student-territory, and since students don't have many kids, out goes GapKids and in comes GapBody -- all of which seems to be good reasoning.

Harvard students are more interested in sex -- or in feeling sexy -- than in kids. (This is not the case at Brigham Young University - you should see all the young married students that bring their kids to campus-ed). Feeling sexy, however, often leads to sex, and sex often leads to kids. Ahem. Or at least to pregnancies. Which is why blue America sweepingly (and coercively) supports choice. They want the sex, but not the kids. The kids are much too costly. To the pocketbook, yes, but most of all to a particular lifestyle more interested in today's consumption than tomorrow's production.

Enter defense of illegal immigration (workers need to come from somewhere), abortion and the Pill (for the sexiness without the kids), and support for gay marriage (because what does sex have to do with kids, anyway?). I'm reminded of Walker Percy's 1971 summary of what the left stands for: LEFTPAPASANE - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, The Pill, Atheism, Pot, Anti-Pollution, Sex, Abortion Now, Euthanasia. Think much has changed?

BAM! She goes from GapBody to Abortion in one fell swoop! But there is a definite connection between disdain for children and the pet causes of leftists. It's true that raising kids is expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment. When I was in academia, it was shocking to me how many well-educated scientists disdain the thought of having kids--either it was too much bother or it was irresponsible in light of global warming, people starving in Africa, and yada yada.

My response to these individuals was that we have we have a responsibility to pass on the gifts of knowledge and intelligence we have been blessed with to the next generation. What better gift can one give to the world than children that have been well-educated and raised to be good citizens?

Today's children are tomorrow's future. We may not be able to personally help all the troubled and neglected children in our communities, but we can raise our children right so that they can contribute what gifts they have to improving our world.


Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Amen! I wonder what those people who think children aren't important to have think about the fact that someone gave them life. After all, they were children once, weren't they? Or do THEY wish they'd never been born? I think I'll stop now. I'm starting to rant.

Me said...

Thank you for you post. It is so true, even in the mid-west. I have a sister-in-law who lives in Idaho that is pregnant with their 6th child. They are having the greatest time of their life but people look like they are from a different planet. Multiplying and replenishing the earth was and always will be the first commandment. It is our job to provide physical bodies to all of Heavenly Father's spirit children that are to come to this earth. God will provide the means necessary to take care of all of them.