A regular reader asks

Wait… did Mr. Karl “one of the largest downsides of being born is that you have to die” Smith have a child?

If so then, seriously, congratulations. I hope you will see that “happiness”, “gratification” and “joy” are truly different emotions, related but not substitutes for each other.

Coming to parenting honestly means acknowledging that while a joy to me, birth is an unrequested imposition on my son. He like everyone else – did not ask to be born.

It is in part because of that, that I owe him the happiest existence I can manage.