My immediate superior asked about my visit to my nieces today. Between my gratitude to her willingness to be flexible on my schedule made it possible for me to get to Mississauga last weekend and my love for my nieces, I gave her a precis of the events, including my wonder at Maria's helplessness and my sister's inability to deduce the cause of Maria's cries. Her response was to wonder that I didn't have kids of my own. I had to stifle a number of possible responses to the mother of two. The most profound is that right now I think I would be terrified of not knowing how to help one of these tiny little beings whilst knowing that I was responsible before god, state and society for it.
Yes, I know that countless prospective parents must have felt the same way and still raised happy children, but I fear I am made of weaker stuff than most people. My respect for parents has grown considerably in the last week.