When someone asked the author of this issue's cover story why she had so many kids, she immediately said, "When we sit around the table and hold hands to give thanks for our food, I like it that the table is big and the circle is wide". Family dinner is an apt image for what is best in families. As Nancy Gibbs put it in Time, "This is where the tribe comes to transmit wisdom, embed expectations, confess, conspire, forgive, repair. The idealized version is as close to a regular worship service, with its litanies and lessons and blessings, as a family gets outside a sanctuary."
Turn the clock back 37 years. CT deputy managing editor Timothy Morgan was 14, and the youngest of seven Morgan siblings was newly born. Tim's parents desperately needed a new dining table. Tim's dad sought out a Minnesota-based furniture maker and commissioned a seven-foot diameter custom dining table that would seat 12 adults or 14 children. The table had a 34-inch lazy Susan which Tim and his brothers discovered could easily handle a spinning sibling of up to 60 pounds.
Tim and his wife, Senja, now have three kids of their ownand love them to pieces. That's a pretty characteristic attitude among the CT staff. If we were being ideological, I'd say we're a "pro-natalist" group. But it's not about ideology.
Senior associate editor Agnieszka Tennant (not yet a parent) remembers the way CT folk helped her form her positive attitudes toward childbearing and child-rearing. Several things "tugged at her heart," including overhearing a choked-up John Wilson (editor of Books & Culture) say with deep emotion, "I just don't know why so few people want to love children these days."
The theme of parental sacrifice runs like a scarlet thread through CT staff. ...1
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