Sometimes it’s good to acknowledge our biases. And one of the biggest biases in our lives is our kids. Not just a bias in the sense that we prefer them, but a bias like one of those ones that cognitive behavioral scientists point out that prove we’re totally and utterly irrational.
We love our kids and love makes us crazy. It is irrational. And that’s okay. In Herman Hesse’s beautiful novel Siddhartha, the titular character—who had spent his whole life in the solitary pursuit of enlightenment—suddenly finds himself a father. This changes him. Makes him feel all sorts of things he had never felt before, feelings that, in many ways, he had denied and pushed away for so long as part of his journey.
“He was madly in love, a fool because of love,” Hesse writes of Siddhartha, but also of you and every other parent who’s ever lived. “Now he always experienced belatedly, for once in his life, the strongest and strangest passion; he suffered tremendously through it and yet was uplifted, in some way renewed and richer.”
Our kids make us drive. They drive us crazy. They mess with our minds and our priorities. Love does that. Mad, mad love is powerful, skewing things. But it’s also a wondrous, special thing. It makes us suffer, but it also rewards us. It uplifts us. It changes us, sure, but they change us so much for the better.
It’s good to acknowledge that.