Wednesday, December 27, 2006

May all your dreams come true

"It's a commonplace of parenting and modern genetics that parents have little or no influence on the characters of their children. You never know who you are going to get. Oppotunities, health, prospects, accent, table maners - these might lie within your power to shape. But what really determines the sort of person who comes to live with you is which sperm finds which egg, how the cards in two packs are chosen, then how they are shuffled, halved, and spliced at the moment of recombination. Cheerful or neurotic, kind or greedy, curious or dull, expansive or shy and anywhere in between; it can be quite an afront to parental self-regard, just how much of the work has already been done. On the other hand, it can let you off the hook.
The point is made for you as soon as you have more than one child." Ian McEwan, Saturday


  1. Anonymous8:27 pm

    I have to disagree with Ian on that one. Even though genetics definitely influences things, I think parents have (or CAN have) a huge impact on their childrens' character.

  2. Thanks for that comment. I agree that parents have huge impact on their children's character. work ethic, moral values, politeness....all of these are our job. I think what Ian McEwan is saying is that every one is so different, and it's hard to imagine how different kids can be from each other when they are all raised basically the same. Birth order must also play a factor as well, don't you think? on top of the shuffle of the cards.

  3. Let me try to write that more clearly. Ned and I have four children. Each is amazing yet each is very different from the other. How else to explain that unique quality that humans have if not through genetices? We think we parented our kids all the same, but events had their effects (we moved three times during their childhoods, birth order, etc). I copied this quote from the novel I'm currently reading because my parenting and the mystery of how we become who we are has been/is so important to me.

  4. Anonymous7:31 pm

    That I do agree with, I have three children (now grown). They are all quite different from each other, with unique personalities and talents. I can definitely see where birth order makes a difference, and I think the ways that parents change over the years that they're raising their children makes a big difference, too. I know that I learned a LOT between the first and the third!


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx