I paged happily through it, remembering how I had treasured the drawings and committed the rhymes to memory as a child and then read the Foreword for the very first time. Something caught my eye, and I’ve kept the phrase in mind ever since. See if it strikes you the same way:
She writes about the inspiration for the illustrations:
“In the pictures of children, our own children are represented, of course, but new types have come forth that resemble our grandchildren. I was surprised to find, after it was finished, that in “Bless the Master of This House” I had pictured my own brothers and sister, my mother and father, in our right age relation, sitting around the table. Though it was unconscious, perhaps it was natural, because all the time I was so happily painting I had been thinking how much we used to enjoy the “current” baby in his high chair and how we all loved Christmas.”
I love how she puts the baby in context. It struck me as a delightful perspective. Each of our children is passing through this or that stage–your baby is “the current baby.” My teenager is “the current teen.” He won’t be this way forever. Thinking that way might dissolve a lot of tension felt by parents, who never more than now, feel the task of parenting is fraught with danger and importance. You can relax and enjoy the “current” baby or teenager…and know that the sky will not fall if you do or don’t do this or that. In large part, he’s a baby, doing what babies do–after you’ve had enough babies pass through the “current baby” position in the family you know that. After you’ve had enough teens pass through the “current teen” position, likewise. Chill.