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A Little Alice Miller for Advent

alec vanderboom

Sometimes its a little freaky to discover the great mystery of the Incarnation in a Psychology book--but the Infant Jesus is everywhere. There are so hearts that have "no room at the inn". Please God help me be more welcoming to children and my young self.

It is not hard to understand that parents are impatient with these adolescents, for people would rather submit to the strictest laws, go to all kinds of trouble, achieve spectacular feats, and choose the most demanding careers than be expected to bring love and understanding to the helpless unhappy child they once were, whom they have subsequently banished forever. When this child suddenly reappears on the lovely parquet floor of their lavish living room in the guise of their own son or daughter, it is not surprising that the child cannot count on finding understanding. What he or she will find is resentment, indignation, warnings or prohibitions, perhaps even hatred--above all, a whole arsenal of child-rearing weapons with which the parents try to ward off every unhappy childhood memory from the war years that tries to come to the surface.

-For Your Own Good, 1980

My goal for after Advent. Alice found an unusually kind and respectful elderly man in Germany and notices how he describes his Mother.

 I noticed that he didn't say, like most people, "My mother loved me very much," but instead, "She loved life," and I recalled having once written that about Goethe's mother. This elderly man had known his happiest moments in the woods with his mother when he had sensed her delight in the birds and shared it with her. Their warm relationship still shone in his aging eyes, and her regard for him expressed itself unmistakably in the way he now was speaking to the children at play. There was nothing superior or condescending in his manner, but simply attentiveness and respect.

(same book)

I love that! I love life! That's the kind of Mother I want my children to see even more of in myself!