“Tears of Knowledge”

I was always a fan on Anna Quindlen’s Newsweek column a while back so I was primed to enjoy her guest post on the New York Times’ Motherlode blog. It did not disappoint, the NYT paywall goes up on the 28th so read it now if you are interested: The Best Part of Parenting

Because I agree with the baby and toddler paragraphs I trust her vision of the future. I love this passage in particular:

You could read human progress through the tears. The tears of a baby are often a reflex, for a toddler almost always the fruit of frustration or fatigue. The tears of a child begin to be the tears of knowledge. The older heart is more breakable.

It really struck a chord with me as my recent thoughts have pondered this transition. I like the use of the word knowledge because I don’t want to ever shield my children from knowledge in favor of the short term goal of averting sadness. This doesn’t mean I would tell them things without any filter but I can’t, for example, steer them away from false friends because of something I see that they do not.

At any rate, it is a great essay from one of my favorite parenting blogs.

2 thoughts on ““Tears of Knowledge”

  1. Thanks for sharing this post, H. There were also a number of lines that resonated with me. This one made me laugh, “Once, I remember, I lied and said it was 8 p.m. at 6:45 just to get them out of my hair. Note to the mothers of young kids: don’t buy digital clocks.” My mom said she did that to me all the time! Not just once. I can see myself doing the same thing in the next few years when Amelia starts understanding time.


    1. I am so glad you liked reading it and that is so funny about your mom! I guess time would be flying if you were having fun and suddenly it was bedtime an hour earlier. 🙂


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