My weekend post provoked some questions.  I talked about having a “cause” and related the reality that people in their “middle years” probably didn’t have a profound sense of social cause.  It wasn’t that they didn’t care, but the issues of marriage, mortgage and mini vans push a lot of things out of the way.  A reader wrote back asking for clarity as she was in her middle years and lived with greyness.  She self identified as a “middler” stuck in the middle years.

Here’s a thought–is family-making a profound cause, or not?    And is our society not better when people take seriously the cause of shaping the lives of the next generation working in the often underrated, under compensated, under recognized field called parenting?

I remember having a long conversation with a young woman a few years back.  She’d lived a pretty wild teen age and early adult  life.  I’ll leave the details to your imagination.   But then she married and had a child and it not only changed her life habits, it changed her perspective on life.  Now, instead of having the personal freedom to do what she wanted, when she wanted, as she wanted…there was now a little baby in her life that required her attention–first.  Her “cause” was the care and raising of this child.    And though there were other activities in her life her ’cause’ that shaped her behaviour was the child.

I recently spoke with a woman at the other end of the journey.  She had finished her child rearing and was feeling lost.  She contemplated having a nother child since her nest was empty but realized the foolishness of it.  She didn’t know what to do with her life…she’d lost her cause.

We talked about the stages of life we go through and now having finished that phase she was entering a new dimension of living.  She needed to “release” from the old one and trust that the tumbling flailing feeling that would inevitably come would lead her to grasping the next trapeze bar to carry her through the next stage.

There are things yet to be done especially as you finish the middle one.

So, yeah, I think child shaping is life shaping.  And that’s a pretty noble cause if you ask me.


Stealers Wheel – YouTube