Monday, March 12, 2007

Crying and Childrearing

Last night my son and his wife decided it was a good night for their six month son to cry himself to sleep. It was supposed to be discipline or something.

I thought sleeping through the night was good because then the parents could sleep too. But now it seems like it is something you do because the book tells you to do it.

I didn't mind the crying too much. He has a beautiful cry. He wasn't mad. He just cried and cried because he didn't want to be in bed. My theory was that he slept too much during the day, but their book said that the more a kid slept during the day the more he'd sleep during the night. Dr. Spock was wrong, you know. So I put my earphones on and watched a movie. Probably not what a good person would do.

Ok, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea about childrearing. I think our kids turned out great, but I don't know what we (an extended we) all did to contribute to their positive qualities.

How is it that we don't know any of the real secrets in life? We don't know what makes a good anything. Sure, we can talk about discipline, love, trust, and a host of similar words, but do we really know how to parent, how to teach, how to lead, how to do anything well?

Or do we just go by the seat of our pants and listen to our hearts (or to the book)?

So Jasper, our grandson, will grow up picking and choosing those myriad qualities that surround him. He'll find people and environments to support him. He'll decide at some point to raise his own progeny (however he will define that), and he'll give his best, only to one day also realize that the mysteries of life are mysterious and deep secrets.