Author: Sharon Tjaden-Glass

We don’t care for them because we love them

In The Philosophical Baby, philosopher and psychologist Alison Gopnik says this:  “It’s not so much that we care for children because we love them, as that we love them because we care for them.” I first felt the truth of this statement when my daughter was around two months old. It was a golden October afternoon. My daughter was fussing. For her, it was a clear sign that she needed to nap. Badly. I cradled her. I shushed her. I rocked her. I hummed to her—all in an effort to help her understand that she was tired. I even told her, “Shhh… You’re tired.” Within a few minutes, her eyes fluttered and then closed. I watched her peaceful face for a few moments. God, I love this child, I thought. But a shadow fell on that moment—because I knew that it hadn’t always been that way. The cliché is that a mother’s love is born the moment a child is laid into her arms. For me, there was certainly a euphoria that delivery was over …