It is a vocation, parenting, that is not just all about yourself, because it is all about that future you will never see. It is all about that happiness you will never enjoy. It is all about that person who will grow to a maturity, offering to the world a gift, one element of which may reflect a little contribution from yourself. But long before that gift is finally delivered, you will likely have shuffled off this mortal coil, and not be there to enjoy it. [Parenting] represents the possibility, which in the end is at the heart of the perpetuation of all our human community: the possibility that we will not live for ourselves alone, but will feel a deep and true connection, with a future we will never see, with a progeny we will never meet, but who, in our hearts' imaginations, we contemplate, with a sense of responsibility and obligation. Change the understanding of marriage, and you have changed the understanding of our character in such a way as to break our bond with that future, and to undermine that sense of responsibility.