Sand in the Gears

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August 17th, 2012 Posted in The Art of Parenting

Some of you might like my recent essay at Image’s Good Letters channel. Here’s an excerpt:

“The vicissitudes of life may chink or scorch or even crack that die, but if your child doesn’t come with the self-restraint app, for example, the twin-studies data suggest you’re not going to build it into him.

So don’t delude yourself, mother, father, with the faith that your pitiful efforts can alter your child’s path any more than a butterfly might deliberately spin a hurricane off course.

Parenting certainly feels that way, to this parent, at least—like flapping my weakling wings against the coming storm, the storm that comes over a child passing into adulthood in this age of quiet terror, of hopeless optimism, of sterile, brightly packaged, insistent faith in the goodness of goodness.”

You can read the rest here. And if you’re reading this sentence, the here in the previous sentence is still a there, and hopefully about to become a here, but the point is that once you’re there you might go a bit further along to see the lovely writing of some of my Good Letters compatriots. I was especially struck by Dyana Herron’s “Gethsemane Companions,” an essay about hiding our weaknesses, and Vic Sizemore’s “The Boy Who Lived Large,” about learning how to live from someone most people imagine doesn’t know the first thing about “real life.”

I’m really proud to be part of that group, and if you read some of the other folks there you can easily see why. We were all of us brought together by Image founder and editor Greg Wolfe, whose recent excerpted commencement address is worth the time of anyone who loves words.

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