Saturday, 29 November 2014

On the Making of Children

When you make a child, however deliberately or carelessly that generation happens, there is one thing that is certain.. You do not own that human being in any meaningful way.  You may look after them, care for them in illness and misery; laugh with them in the carelessness of their youth and worry about them when they leave to go out into the world, but you don't own them..

You can shape their ideas, attitudes, and tell them all manner of truths, but you cannot force them to be you, to think like you, to live a life you would prefer, unless you push them into something they actually want, that's a sort of bullying, and unacceptable..

For one thing, we are all perforce of another generation than our parents and children.. I was born in the 1950s, and grew up in the 60s and 70s; this colours my view of the world as it was filtered by news,  culture, music, all those pervasive colours and things that are almost invisible until we stand away and look back..

My children were born in the late 1970s.  They grew up with Thatchersim, riots, and the madnesses of the 1980s culture which I still find baffling..  That hair! Those clothes!  Dammnit, that music!

If they had children, they would have been of the Millenium.. That's an interesting time..

I was talking about the speed of change today, and the idea that when Thomas Hardy was born in the 1840s, there were no railways - when he died, in the 1920s, the news was telephoned to London and broadcast on the BBC..  I'm willing to bet, unless you are making a point, that you have a mobile phone, a flat TV, and several computers.. The time from the Car to the Aeroplane is not even one generation, and is shorter than the time since man walked on the Moon

I've always liked computers, find them useful, but the main joy is in communication.. Sadly, it's a long time since I wrote a physical letter and sent it in the post (although I do a lot of business by mail)

And my children speak on Facebook, text, twitter perhaps, I don't much care.. Somewhere, we have to draw a line and say enough!  Or do we..

Anyway, when you make one child, that's a Thing, but when you make more than one there's the Sibling Thing, which is both powerful and mysterious..  I do not understand why my wee brother was so precious, and my sisters are strangers.  Perhaps it's a generational thing..

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