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These are tough times for parents. Not because child rearing has gotten any harder — it’s the same as it ever was — but because we are newly overrich in hand-wringing books and articles on the subject. The decision to have children, according to these panicked dispatches, is only the first in a cascade of choices that will either make or break your kid, save or ruin your life. This forum, however, is not prescriptive but descriptive: not “how you should” but “how we have,” which is probably the best kind of advice a mother or father could give. The poem and …
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“The poem and the essays that follow tell you things about being a parent that you can’t get from a jeremiad about having it all or a numbered list of sleep-training tips.”
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Number of pages in the bills that created Social Security and the Federal Trade Commission, respectively:

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