Published August 06, 2007 by
The earliest human families were formed in response to deep biological drives and emotions that are not to dissimilar form the drives and emotions that we feel today. In a hostile, intimidating prehistoric world, men, women, and children found physical and psychological support in the family unit. Early families not only ensured the survival and growth of the human species, but established a social structure as well. Over the centuries the specific social structures that have grown to preserve and protect the family unit may look different, but the central concept remains quite similar.
The modern family provides us with many of the benefits enjoyed by our ancestors. Though how existing in a multiplicity of forms, the family remains a central element of society. We all seem to return to the family unit again and again foe rejuvenation, for pleasure, for safety. The family continues to serve as the vehicle with which we feel most comfortable as we bring children into the world. Whoever has claimed that the family structure is disappearing is very wrong. The family-restructuring itself to fit modern day life-is alive and well.
Children are the special elements of family life. Out of apparent nothingness a human being is created-a miracle that is rediscovered by each of us at childbirth. Your child is inextricably bound to you but wholly different.
When we create children, we create hope and pride, and achieve a subtle sort of immortality. When we accept the responsibility of parenthood, we participate in the oldest of human traditions.
Nothing can take the place of parents who are concerned, loving, and involved. To be a parent is more than just handing a child his baby blanket, it is to be engaged in a privileged and special occupation-one that is heavy with responsibility but full of joy. You will work long and hard at parenting, and make many sacrifices-and with no guarantee that your child will become the person you envisioned. Still, it's a challenging and fascinating journey that puts in touch with the whole continuum of life and the human species-both past and future. You will begin to see your own parents in a new light.
Each person's parenthood will share much in common with others who have traveled the same road but will still be different because each child, each mother, each father, is a different and unique person.
You will be your baby's focal point- his or her whole world. You will have many moments of well-deserved happiness and times when you must live with mistakes you have made. And we've all made them.
Newborn babies, unfortunately don't arrive with an instruction booklet attached. There is a lot we need to learn in addition to on-the-job training.