The decision to have children in troubled times

The second word our daughter, J.J., learned (after Dada) was good. Recently, a babysitter confided that J.J. had said "good" about 20 times during one meal—once after every bite. Her innocence is what has made it an often-used word for her. And we've found that spending time with her has opened our eyes to all sorts of good stuff.

With another baby coming this spring, we feel we're embarking on a fun adventure. Yet we knew, going into this, that our experience would involve more than just having fun. We've done our fair share of worrying about things, such as health, finances—and security.

Our fears, though, have taken on a little different tone since the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Many friends and neighbors we've spoken with recently have shared these same newfound concerns, and this has prompted us to consider the issues more fully. Melanie, for instance, had a conversation with a man seated next to her on a plane. He articulated the same kind of fears that we've had. He wondered how we felt about bringing up a young child in these "uncertain times." The fears we're concerned about are so serious to him that they have made him doubt the wisdom of having children right now and raising them in the northeastern part of the United States.

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Reconciliation without fear
January 7, 2002

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