t is a craft and an art and a prayer. It is exhausting and enervating and epiphany. Once begun it does not end, forever and ever amen. It is to be privy to miracles all day and night. It is laundry and cooking and cleaning and barking and insurance and doctors and bandaids and toothbrushes and cereal and yelling and praying and weeping and snorting with laughter and teaching them to walk and talk and read and do complicated algebraic somersaults and trying to seed their souls with grace and courage and mercy and independence, and then watching heart in mouth as they sail away into the ocean of pain and joy and heartbreak and brilliance that is their own life to make, and all you can do ever after is be ready to listen and hold them when they need you which they do.
This is Being a Parent, and it's essentially impossible to explain or train for, and it makes you gaunt and gray, and the only tools that really help are patience and love and sleep, but o the joy, the exquisite holiness, the power and passion and poem of love it is!
And so much else that we cannot articulate no matter how much we try.
There may be no greater confusing complicated joy available to human creatures than that of being granted the mysterious gift of children; so to celebrate and sing the subtle craft of mothering and fathering we cheerfully gather here, in the pages that follow, some of the many mothers and fathers and children among the University of Portland motley and farflung clan and tribe: regents, professors, alumni, students, administrators and especially our students parents, who are, as University president Father Bill Beauchamp, C.S.C., says, our students' first and greatest teachers, and always will be, all due respect to the terrific professors on The Bluff. Editor