Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

December 3rd, 2012

Once we were a nation defined by our sameness and by our homogenization. The Levittown like subdivisions, The Organization Man, The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit. Today we are a nation defined by our differences; from each other and from any kind of an artificial norm.

Yet the one difference we can’t  ever seem to really grasp, is when our children are profoundly different from us. Where the apple does in fact, fall far from the tree.

We cling to the foundational idea that our children must do better than us. From 30k a year preschools, to endless driving to extra curricular activities. But what happens when this can’t be the case? When our children cannot live up to our ideal. When they have a physical or mental illness or a disability, or are just not the people we dreamt about. The answer is that we love them anyway! And this is the path that Andrew Solomon explores in Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity. My conversation with Andrew Solomon: