Children are “all plague and no profit”

Children are “all plague and no profit”.

That is the view of the doctor in the Victorian novel I am listening to at the moment, “Ruth” by Elizabeth Gaskell.

It is only a novel but I am sure that that is a view that may have been held by many Victorians. Working class people in that time had understandable concerns about basics in life such as food and shelter. And the more mouths to feed the closer to starvation and plague you would have been.

It is not a view that I would share, in any case.

Children are a great source of worry, concern, anxiety, love, frustration and pride. Anyone who has been blessed with a child or children would almost certainly share this view.

Anyway, we are off to Galway tomorrow to see our youngest graduate from University College Galway. The education that our four children have obtained, which started in the home, will, after tomorrow, be stamped with degrees of varying categories from various universities.

This is something of which I am immensely proud and which will probably be one of the greatest legacies we have given our children. Along with some values of decency and respect and recognising the dignity of the other.

“All plague and no profit”? I don’t believe so.