I learned last night that Eolath Magee has died. Eolath was a psychotherapist that I encountered when he led a short course for teachers in pastoral care a few years ago. It is the only time a training course has directly affected what I do in the classroom in a positive way. And because of the sort of person he was it directly affected my life in general as well.
Eolath had recommended a book to one of the teachers who was pregnant. He said it was good book but not to worry if it made you feel guilty as a parent. You can't escape the guilt, he said.
When I was pregnant last year I read the book. It is wonderful. And I did feel guilty when I couldn't exactly live up to it. It is worth reading though. Definitely.
Eolath was right - you can't escape the guilt. To give birth made me feel as if I had touched God. For a split second maybe I felt like a god. It didn't take long to remember that actually, I had no idea how to make a baby work. That's some fall let me tell you. Immediately you encounter something of perfection and simultaneously you screw it up. You can't escape the guilt. To recall Eolath's words in the days following Ana's birth was ironic and comforting. I almost wrote to tell him but I didn't. I wish I had.