Parenting in the moment and parenting for the future

I think the New York Times “Well Blog” sent out a link to this piece from the archive a few months ago. Though I can often hardly stand even to open the Well Blog emails because the blog’s content tends towards the cringeworthy, I opened this one, for whatever reason. There, I read about a baby boy who was afflicted with fatal Tay-Sachs disease.

Googling revealed that the boy, Rowan, died a while after that, around the age of 3. His mother, Emily Rapp, wrote a book about parenting a dying child and the grief therefrom (The Still Point of the Turning World). Rapp calls herself a “dragon mom:”

There was tiger mom and panda dad, and I thought that the dragon was perfect because it’s medieval and weird and sort of magical. Dragon moms are this amazing group of women and no one tries to one-up the other one.

In that same interview, Rapp rejects the frequent expression that others “can’t imagine” what it’s like to lose a baby. So, I won’t disrespect her opinion by offering that particular platitude here. I have not myself parented a dying child, and have only parented a living one a little (she’ll turn 1 next month), so my viewpoint on the matter should be taken with a grain or more of salt. But a fragment from Rapp’s New York Time piece did rub me the wrong way.

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