Letter:Pleasures of parenthood

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The Independent Online
Sir: At the time when I became a father 25 years ago, I felt very much as Fran Abrams does ("My nest is empty, and I love it", 15 June). I was not sure I wanted the responsibility of children and only concurred because my wife was so anxious to have a family. With hindsight, I am glad that her wiser counsels prevailed.

Kids bleed you of money and emotion and force you to spend countless hours watching their antics on football, hockey and cricket pitches, or at the edge of show-jumping arenas. I would not have missed a second of it. Parenthood has been arduous but tremendous fun.

Ms Abrams made her choice and I made mine - and we are both happy with the outcome. I take issue, however, with her assumption that childbirth has been promoted to keep women in their place and to ensure the care of parents in their old age.

Parenthood can also keep fathers in their place. But most importantly, she assumes that, because she has always been financially self-sufficient, she will not be a burden to any children in her old age. No matter what provision she has made for her retirement, the wealth to service it has got to be generated within the continuing workings of society - that is, by my children and their peers.