While there are certainly people out there for whom the pandemic or our political environment have brought out their worst, the rest of us have started to feel something different. We’re raw. We’re vulnerable. We tear up when we hear about someone losing someone. We tear up when we think about families struggling to make ends meet. Have you seen some of the videos we’ve posted on Instagram lately? Of stepparents adopting their stepchildren? Or military parents surprising their children with an unexpected visit home?
It’s like instant waterworks…
What is that?
“One great thing about having kids,” the comedian Michael Ian Black recently said, “is that they force you into an active practice of love whether you are ready for it or not. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for parenthood after spending the 30 previous years in a cauterized emotional state.”
You’re raw because having kids has opened you up. It’s forced you to engage in the world in a more active way, forced you to engage with yourself and your own emotions in an active way.
Was it easier to go through the world all closed off? Is there something tribal and reassuring about just focusing on yourself and your problems? Of course, but that’s less and less possible these days. Because this parenting thing has changed you. It’s made you better.
It’s opened you up.