What’s the main difference between humans and other animal mothers? It’s a strange question, I know. But give it some thought. We all watch videos of cute baby animals and their mothers online. We have all seen cross-species “adoptions” — ducks and that raise kittens; dogs that nurture bunnies; even lions that take in baby antelopes to rear. Humans obviously do that too — we love kittens and puppies and other baby animals and routinely raise them and talk about our pets as if they are our children. But there is a difference. And no, it’s not that other animals don’t tend to take on pets — the luxury of sharing food and shelter in the wild is just that — a luxury. There is something else.
We have two grown sons, both in graduate schools. Clearly adults, right? But my emotions towards them are the same as when they were but babies. I don’t see adult men, I see the entire history of their lives before me. I hear the cries they made when they fell and got hurt or when they were sick and not feeling well. I remember their outrageous fibs and reasons why they can’t eat carrots…or anything but white-color foods. I remember carrying them everywhere, rocking them to sleep, reading the entire 54 books of the Animorphs series to them out loud. They might be almost a foot taller than me, but to me, they are still my babies. I think this is one of the defining characteristics of our humanity — our children remain our children for as long as we live. Other animals let go of their mother-child bonds. Well, most mothers…all mothers I know. I’ve read that some primates also have close mother-daughter relationships, but not really mother-son bonds. (Although, bonobo males with pushy mothers are more successful at siring more children!)
I guess what I’m trying to say is that mother during the pandemic is brutally hard. Aside from all the craziness that mothers of younger children have to deal with — homeschooling AND working from home simultaneously without outside help — even mothers of adults have stress levels through the roof. I would gladly give my vaccine to my kids…but I can’t get any either. For our world to get back to normal, we will need to get our families back. It’s not about opening restaurants and gyms and stores (nice, but not a must-have). It’s getting our ability to spend time together as a family. I miss my kids…
Okay then, whining aside, here are some books for your reading pleasure (My “FATOFF Conspiracy” is part of this collection). And yes — get more books than you will ever read! For the first time in my life, I found myself buying more books to read later than I have ever bought! My virtual bookshelf is overflowing! Last night, I found myself trying to buy a book I have already bought but haven’t read yet. Guilt… And yet, it’s nice to escape into another reality. For the moment, I’m reading about the discovery of Higgs Boson (get a paperback, the ebook is too frustrating unless you have a photographic memory). I look forward to the next book (a novel). Don’t get me wrong, I love the books…just as much as I want to tear my hair out when the author casually discusses the number of possible Higgs Bosons as predicted by some supersymmetry models. (Not all is bad — I think I will get a novel or at least a short story from some of the ideas sparked by this book.)
Thank you for reading and please remember to leave a review for any book you’ve liked (not just mine) — it would make an author very happy! (I know!)