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B asked me whether, now that I see how much work you are, I'm more appreciative of what my own parents did for me. I definitely understand what they went through more than I ever did before having you, but appreciative isn't exactly right, for either what I feel for my parents or what I expect you to eventually feel for us. I don't remember or identify with myself as an infant. This baby we're bathing in the sink, because it's funny to try once even though you're basically already too big, is not really you. Not yet. So these pictures can't haunt you. This stuff we're doing for you can't exactly be for you. You didn't ask for it, you can't be consulted for your informed consent, and you'll have to live with the countless mistakes we're undoubtably already making. Asking you to be grateful for all this, in any meaningful sense, seems to me to be tantamount to imposing original sin. At most, maybe, one day you'll do this for somebody else who won't really exist yet. But only if you choose to for your own reasons, not because you owe anybody any kind of debt. You do not owe us your life, we are merely holding it for you in trust. Having you makes me more aware than ever that gratitude for one's own birth is a footstep into an emotional minefield. We, your parents, must be able to unequivocally forgive you for whatever it takes to get you to the point where you become you, for everything you require before you are able to take responsibility for your own commitments and responses. Until then, this work we do cannot and must not be measured in any kind of currency, it must be a gift given freely to the world.
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