Human infants are uniquely fragile at birth. Many animals, such as deer, horses, cattle, and elephants, are able to stand and walk within hours of their birth. Other animals, like dogs, cats, and bears, are born naked and blind, but grow quickly and reach maturity in a year or two. Because humans have such an extended childhood, the bonds between parents and children are far more developed and far more important than in most animals.

In this issue, we feature stories that explore this bond. We begin with Venkat Srinivasan’s look at undocumented African immigrants and the sacrifices these parents make for their children in Skilled undocumented workers in New York City. Bob Lee shares his reflections on fatherhood in the wake of the birth of his second child in Fatherhood = salvation. We also get a look at the life of a mother and son who live on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam with Ehrin Macksey’s visual essay Simple happiness.

In Travels with Pa, Nancy Antonietti takes us with her as she accompanies her maternal grandfather back to Sicily for the first time since he left at 16. Colin Wilcox shares three poems in his collection Landscapes. Finally, Emma Kat Richardson brings us to China with her review of Susan Jane Gilman’s Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven.

Of course, as with all things, there are exceptions to the rule of the nurturing parent. For every story of sacrifice, there is another story of abuse and neglect. Some children find the world to be a frightening, abusive place, and their mothers and fathers to be the source of many of these problems. Because their first relationship, their attachment to their parents, is so dysfunctional, every subsequent relationship they form is often also dysfunctional. In this way, abuse and neglect become a recurring issue and are passed down from generation to generation. It is a reminder of just how important the bonds between a parent and child really are.

I am a writer/editor turned web developer. I’ve served as both Editor-in-chief and Technical Developer of In The Fray Magazine over the past 5 years. I am gainfully employed, writing, editing and developing on the web for a small private college in Duluth, MN. I enjoy both silence and heavy metal, John Milton and Stephen King, sunrise and sunset. Like all of us, I contain multitudes.

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