The Wisdom of Parenthood: An Essay
THE WISDOM OF PARENTHOOD is a provocative meditation on the meaning, experience and practice of parenthood both as a universally human phenomenon across history and, more specifically, in the age of assisted reproduction, in vitro fertilization, gestational surrogacy, “third-party production,” international adoption and the transformation of the nuclear family with the rise of LGBT parenting. More
If parenthood were a function of biology, adoptive parents, for instance, ought not to be considered parents — which is absurd. Thus, it follows that biology cannot be an essential component of parenthood. Concomitantly, if parenthood were merely a function of law, all those who have parented children without being their legal parents would be stripped of their de facto parenthood ... If, then, parenthood is neither a function of biology nor simply law — what is it? What does being a parent truly mean?
Rooted in the author’s own experience as a father of three, THE WISDOM OF PARENTHOOD is an insightful, original, and provocative philosophical meditation on the meaning, experience, and practice of parenthood both as a universally human phenomenon across history and, more specifically, in the age of assisted reproduction, in vitro fertilization, gestational surrogacy, “third-party production,” international adoption, and the transformation of the very notion of the nuclear family with the rise of same-sex and LGBT parenting.
“Finally we have a real thinker who dispels the ‘blood is thicker than water’ myth in persuasively showing that, in fact, the wisdom and commitment of deliberate love — not DNA — are thicker, richer, deeper ... Michael Eskin offers an enlightened understanding of true parenthood ‘beyond necessity’, which is as essential to the survival of the soul as water is to the body.”
— LOUIE B. FREE, host of The Louie b. Free Show
“... beautifully articulated, profoundly moving, enlightening and inspiring ... THE WISDOM OF PARENTHOOD has already shifted my perspective, in some ways renewed it, but definitely also imbued me with some new ways of thinking and understanding and taking pride in my role as a mother and stepmother ...”
— DONNA MURPHY, Tony Award-winning actress and singer
“A powerful argument for an understanding of parenthood based on the daily actions, the real practice of parenting as opposed to our children’s origins. Speaking from experience, Michael Eskin takes the reader on a wonderfully substantiated path to a conclusion that will be reassuring to anyone considering adoption, or anyone who has ever parented.”
— JILL LARSON, Emmy-nominated cast member of All My Children
“An insightful, intelligent exploration of parenthood — no matter where and how your children came to be in your life — THE WISDOM OF PARENTHOOD is a book one can read over and over again. There is so much to absorb that it is one to keep going back to. It is a manual for parenthood — truly a philosophy of parenting to live by.”
— CAROL CIANCUTTI, acclaimed director of Absolutely Safe