Regarding Susan Reimer's recent column on parents, when I was growing up my parents demanded constant appreciation — even for providing needed dental care. I resented the mandate to be always on my knees in gratitude, but now, thanks to Ms. Reimer's remarks, I'm glad I can enjoy a regret-free adulthood ("'Thanks Mom, thanks Dad,'" Jan. 15).

If today's parents studied history, they'd realize that in the past children were an economic necessity. Who else would care for the elderly before Social Security? And if Ms. Reimer checked out the U.S.S. Constellation on Pier 1, she would discover boys as young as 9 years old were sent to sea "to learn a trade." Also, girls were frequently sent "into household service" at an early age.

Today, children are an expensive luxury. I don't know the exact cost of raising a kid to age 18, but it's in the hundreds of thousands. And so often mothers are forced to leave the full-time jobs and forfeit financial benefits after the children arrive.

Furthermore, college has become a necessity and huge expense. This is all taken for granted in today's culture. But what really alarms me is that after college adult children return home sometimes until their mid-twenties. I discovered this during my involvement with Occupy Baltimore.

I disagree that "parenthood is pretty much all sacrifice." No, it is not sacrifice, it is another luxury we are taught to believe we require.

Roz Heid

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