On being a parent

In a quiet moment of sharing, Jonathon Delacour wrote:

Though I don’t believe in regrets, I have just one: that I don’t have a child. All my closest friends have children and every time they invite me to their homes, I feel a sense of gratitude that I’ve been able to share the intimacies of family life. I’m well aware that I’m getting many of the pleasures with none of the pain, but the rewards seem so great that I’m always left wondering at what point I took the wrong turn.

Making the decision to have a child or not is the single most defining moment in our lives. No one act we take can have greater impact. No one act we take should have greater impact in our lives.

Think about it — when you have a child, you’re bringing a new person into the world. You’re teaching this new person love and happiness and sharing and the values and beliefs you think are important. You have the front seat of a show starring this new person, watching as she or he grows and becomes something unique and special. From my own childless perspective, I can’t imagine that there isn’t a parent anywhere who doesn’t sit down daily and marvel at what they’ve done.

However, with the marvel also comes the complexity in raising a child. When I watch my brother with his kids, it looks to me as if there is a daily negotiation between him and each child about what rules apply, because every day new circumstances occur and new rules need to be made to meet these circumstances. Even the rules themselves have rules — when should the parent intervene, when should the parent step back and let the child learn the lessons they need to learn?

In my own field, I have had difficulty working with neural networks; a child is the greatest neural network there is. The thought of all that complexity, frankly, scares me.

Adding to the complexity is the issue of maintaining your own individuality, separate from your role and identity as “parent”. You want to provide what the child needs, but you’re also a unique person with needs of your own. Again, as an observer, it seems to me that you have to walk this delicate balancing act of being “you” the parent and “you” the unique individual.

I made the decision years ago not to have children. The reasons were many, and complex, and beyond the scope of this posting. I don’t have regrets about not having a child, but I do wonder sometimes about where I would be and what I would be doing today if I had children. Of course, being in my 40’s it’s still not too late to have children, though the risk of complications increase as you get older. Sometimes I even think about the possibility of adopting an older child, raising him or her as a single parent.

However, I think there are people, such as myself, who just weren’t meant to have children. I genuinely feel I wouldn’t make a good parent. In fact, the thought of being a parent scares me to death


Just another morning

It starts with an Argentinian ant invasion. While I was waiting for the exterminator this morning, I received a phone call from another weblogger. Lovely voice. Witty conversation. Wonderful surprise.

Just as I’m hanging up the phone, the exterminator came and after I showed her where the little buggers were entering my home, I took off to let her do her thing.

Normally I walk along Crissy Fields in the evening, but today was too nice to stay inside. As I was walking along the beach I watched the pelicans fishing just offshore.

Pelicans are my favorite bird. They look as if they couldn’t fly more than a few feet, but I’ve seen them fly into gale force winds with barely a struggle. And their landing! They circle lower and lower, than a quick crashing dive bomb into the water, splashing water high into the air — absolutely no subtlety in their movements. Fearless.

Pelicans are almost completely indifferent to humanity. They’re neither overly impacted by nor all that dependent on us. For the most part, they just ignore us. They’re large enough to have few predators, and aggressive enough to ensure they get what they need to survive. A truly beautiful, arrogant bird.

So this morning I walked along the beach with the wind in my hair and the sun in my face, watching the pelicans exhibit their mastery over water and air — truly king over all they fly.


I didn’t know sharks got that big in the Bay…

Political Weblogging

And so much for journalism

Meryl Yourish and Glenn Reynolds responded to my email and article link yesterday.

So much for weblogging as journalism. And the truth shall set you free, right?


RageBoy…on the loose!

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Halley wrote that she’s a Chris Locke wannabe. I shudder at the innocence of such a request as she couldn’t possibly know the truth…

Due to an unfortunate chemical reaction between certain rare substances only found in Starbuck’s coffee sold in Colorado, and the residue of past _experimentation_, Chris was already in a dangerously febrile state. Add this to his close proximity to several large electrical towers, and it was only a matter of time before some catalytic agent served to disassociate the manic, mischievous RageBoy persona from the meeker, milder, professorial Chris Locke.

Then he met the 19 year old….

At this time RageBoy is wondering loose within the network, seeking homes on weblogs as the spirit, and router, moves him. Halley, run….run for you life….it may already be too l…..



Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

There seems to be tentative reaching out by webloggers to one another, at least in my virtual neighborhood. Is there a new evolution in weblogging — a desire to extend contact beyond the ephemeral?

I’ve met people through weblogging who I really like. When they’re hurting or having a difficult time, I want nothing more than to reach out and give them a big hug, show them I’m there for them. Hold their hand and gently pat their back. Tease them softly until I receive a return smile.

However, I live miles away from most of the people with whom I’ve become connected. All I can do is send emails, read their posts, leave comments, talk on the phone, and write to this weblog for them.

How frustrating — we’re socially at the stage where we need instantaneous transportation, but we’re stuck with technology that can, at best, move us about within 24 hours.

What if I have to positively, absolutely, get there overnight? Can I FedEx myself?

I guess I’ll just have to settle for emails, reading posts, leaving comments, phone calls and writing notes here. Virtual hugs and cybernetic pats on the back.