The standard ways of thinking about morality don’t apply well to parenthood.
Caring for children is deeply paradoxical.
There’s a profound tension between dependence and independence.
Parents and other caregivers must take complete responsibility for that most utterly dependent of creatures – the human baby.
But they must also transform that utterly dependent creature into a completely independent and autonomous adult.
We start out feeding and changing and physically holding our children most of the day and doing all this with surprising satisfaction and even happiness.
We end up if we’re lucky with the occasional affectionate text message from a distant city.
A marriage or friendship that was like that would be peculiar – if not downright pathological.