Publisher's Note, February 2014

Love, acceptance and humanity

We refer to February’s ParentMap as the love issue. By assembling diverse content under the cupid theme, we offer a thought-provoking look at love from many perspectives.

Love can come in the form of being prepared in case tragedy strikes, because we have our s*%# together. Planning for the unexpected is a gift of love to your partner and children, though your eyes glaze over talking life insurance, estate planning and a will.

Puppy love — the real kind —hits hard. Remember my unscientific study outside Starbucks three years ago? Two people stood at the entrance to my coffee outpost, each cradling their beloved cherub. To the left was a newborn baby girl wrapped in pink heavenliness from head to toe. To the right was a soft 9-week-old puppy. Which direction did 98 percent of passersby turn? Right to the puppy!

Our household had been blissfully dog-free for decades. My husband was clear — we would never have a _______ (fill in the expletive) dog. Then came our human baby No. 3. That daughter’s skillful petition eventually did land us a puppy, Bailey, who converted my husband into an unrecognizable dog lover!

I found myself jealous of dog and master’s enthusiastic evening love ritual. I wanted daily attention like Bailey got, or close to it! My husband did his best John Gottman (the relationship expert) imitation, insisting there were love lessons to be learned. Bailey’s ability to wildly wag his tail made my husband feel unconditionally adored. I just needed to be a human impersonator. Our managing editor Natalie Singer-Velush captures that mother’s desire to love yet another baby, in her story In Place of a Third Child, a Puppy.

Do you ever feel that you have an alien offspring? Much of our parenting success turns on a crucial question: How do we accept our children for who they are, and how can we help them become their best selves? Geek Love had me reflecting on author Andrew Solomon’s TED talk, Love, No Matter What. The marginalized person, geek or gay, simply seeks acceptance and a community. Go geeks!

This month of love launches our Just Ask efforts in support of gun responsibility. Love your kid — just ask! Someone You Should Know features David Hemenway, Ph.D. at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, whose work to reduce firearm violence is to be praised, celebrated and shared.


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