Tuesday, July 18, 2006

on marriage and parenthood

Sorry about the cranky post about The Time Traveler's Wife. I abandoned the effort since it was due at the library and I did regret not being able to plow through it, but I couldn't find the inspiration to prioritize it. But I am looking forward to Until I Find You. I've begun it and so far it's classic John Irving, which means the characters hit the ground running with strong personalities, quirky backstories and insatiably interesting relationships. And, not inconsequentially, good dialogue. Writing good dialogue is a hallmark of a greatly talented writer, to me.

But this post is on marriage and parenthood! I had a revelation today. I saw that:

1. Marriage is a relationship in which I prioritize my partner and our relationship.
2. This is the commitment people are often afraid of before entering marriage.
3. For me, this commitment has not limited who I am but made me feel more free, more who I am. It may mean that I share my car, or take into account his schedule when making plans, or put off something I wanted to do so that we can do something else together. Somehow this doesn't feel constraining but beautiful and fulfilling. And fun!
4. Parenthood is about making a similar commitment, but with even more selflessness because the little person cannot be an equal partner.
5. So perhaps engaging in this relationship which calls for such selflessness also provides deep measures of self-fulfillment, as in marriage. Just as people sometimes fear the commitment of marriage because it's hard to see the benefits past the fear of "am I going to lose my sense of self?!", maybe the fear of parenthood stems from not seeing the amazing rewards of the relationship-- the personal growth and development, as well as the connections with a larger community.

Anyhoo- those are just some thoughts that I found helpful today.