When I studied at the university, we had a discussion about parenthood, children and family values. Our lecturer asked us this question: why people decide to have children? We shared our ideas, saying something like “maybe, they’re bored,” “they want to move to another step in their relationship,” “сhildren are the flowers of our lives,” etc. Then we asked our lecture why did she decide to start a family and to give birth to her kids. She answered, “so that in my old age someone serves a glass of water.” And you know what? It still sounds strange to me. Perhaps, that’s because I have no kids?
To my mind, quite often this kind of people are too attached to their children, not all of them but many. They try to control every moment of their kids’ lives and don’t give them a chance to develop as independent individuals, to make mistakes, to gain their personal life experience.
This topic is brilliantly revealed in the book of Deborah Orr—Motherwell: A Girlhood. When she was 18, left Motherwell to go to university. However, her mother, Win, didn’t support this idea. She believed that attending university wasn’t for people like the Orr family.
The thing is that Win had very little influence in the world, every choice was determined by the men in her life. And strangely enough, she desired the same life for Deborah. Moreover, Win couldn’t stand the fact that the daughter would leave her behind.
Although Deborah eventually managed to escape, her severing from her family was only superficial. She continued to return to Motherwell, hoping that one day her mother might come to accept her as good enough. But it was never meant to be.
Motherwell: A Girlhood is a sincere, sharp and sometimes comical memoir about a long shadow that can be cast when the basic relationship in your life jeopardize all your efforts to become an independent person.