The Miracle of Children…..Other People’s, That Is

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:03 pm

Margaret and I had dinner with a couple of couples last night—all friends from Evergreen—and their children. Each couple has two kids….”replacements”, so to speak. (Or, if you’re in a real jam, “spare parts”.)

Call me biased, but I think our friends put out some of the finest, highest-quality USDA Prime children available anywhere. They are, down to a one, sweet little creatures. (Okay, so Jason is what I would refer to as “intense”; he doesn’t have feelings, they have him. But he’s nonetheless a great kid, and if the worst thing you can say about a little boy is that he has strong emotions, you are way ahead of the game.)

And though they have cautioned me against this sort of assumption, they make it look so damned easy! Not because they don’t put visible effort into it; far from it. All night long they were interacting with their kids, looking after them, including them in the discussion, inquiring as to their needs, all while simultaneously maintaining conversations with other adults and each other. What totally astounded me was the seeming ease with which they came up with just the right words, just the right actions or tactics, to keep the kids entertained, properly focused or diverted (depending on the dictates of the situation), and on an even emotional keel—”even”, at least, for a child.

It was a wonder to observe….and I never, ever want to have to do it myself.

This makes me even more grateful for the jobs that folks like Cynthia and Steve, Naara and Dylan, Gavin and Holly, and Tom and Heather to name a few, are doing. Hats off to you folks! You are not merely helping to maintain the biomass, you are putting out quality product to boot. Meanwhile, instead of raising children, Margaret and I get to act like children, playing with our toys and letting other, more capable couples pick up the slack.

This is how much I value our friends with children, and the fine job they are doing: I have tried to convince more than a few of them to train their kids to overwhelm and consume the offspring of other, more asinine parents. My hope is to create a network of sociocultural macrophages, protecting the health of the community by removing potential threats before they get a chance to inflict damage….or worse, have little contagions of their own.

The only person who gave it any real thought was Naara. She pondered the idea for a minute, then said, “No, sorry, we’re trying to feed them only organic.”

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