The more things change … well, you don’t need Siri to finish that aphorism. My wife and I worry about the stability of the world, about how unrest and political schisms will affect the future. The headlines can be overwhelming. But so it was for my grandparents, bringing kids into the world at the close of the most horrific war the planet has ever seen. So it was for my parents, raising my sister and me in the lingering days of the Cold War, still reeling from the tumult of the 1960s.
Our stomachs tighten when we think about paying for college, for retirement, and even, on occasion, for our mortgage. Soon enough, we’ll worry about playground bullies and cyberbullies and Maja’s first unchaperoned concert, presumably by whatever band is annoying parents in the late 2020s.
All we can do is hold out tempered optimism that, like our parents and their parents, we’ll basically get things right, and so will our kids. We take joy in knowing that the best part of parenting is the timelessness of its core details. This morning, Maren’s parents called to say hi. We spoke on FaceTime as Maja paged through the 1967 picture book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? We have two copies, and I’m hoping one of them will live on for story time with our grandchildren.