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Is Having Kids Worth It?

That question is like a land-lover asking a swimmer, “Is jumping into this pool worth it?” 

The swimmer would reply, “What do you mean, is it worth it? You mean is the frightening part of getting wet and not knowing what you’re doing, worth leaving the safety of the shore? How else are you going to learn to swim? Do you want to be a swimmer or not?”

If the non-swimmer replies, “Yes, I want to be a swimmer, but I really like building sand castles and shopping for fancy clothes, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to do that when I’m in the water. Plus, swimsuit are so unflattering on my body and getting wet is a royal pain.”

Then I would reply, “Go back to your late night movies and artsy projects and social circles and glamorous styles. You don’t want to be a parent. Stick to the dry land.”

And yet if I could lure you off the diving board with images of olympic swimmers, if I could get you to forget your fear of water by showing you the joys of sailing or surfing or body boarding or snorkeling or deep sea diving, I would.

If I could push you off the edge of the pool and make you get in the water, I would, even though I can’t promise that you’ll learn to swim or even that you’ll like it.

You might clamor for the edge the instant you feel the water’s temperature. You might look back at the seashore and find the quickest route back to land. And sadly, some of you might continue trying to build your sand castles in the water.

But if you start paddling, kicking your arms and legs frantically and then with purpose, and if you start listening to that swimmer's instructions, then you will learn how to swim in addition to being a creature of the land.

Then I'll come back to you and ask you, "Was it worth it?"


Anonymous said…
Hey Abby. As I have gotten older I find the ocean water colder than ever. So I haven't jumped in the pacific ocean lately. To put it another way Robin and I won't be having more kids :-). But the three God gave us are such an unbelievable blessing along with the nine grand kids that amaze us! We are glad we left land 40 some years ago to experience the dangers of riptides, sharks, jelly fish, stepping on a sting rays, getting sunburned etc. Strength and blessings, Uncle David

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