Yesterday, while in the nursery, my son lifted up a tub of Vaseline and with enormous care and concentration, lifted it up over his head and threw it over the side of the table. His attitude seemed just like an Aztec priest, about to make a sacrifice.
It made me think for a moment that the two actions, appalling sacrifice versus the throwaway gesture of a child, were both equal of respect, certainly in terms of gestures of civilisation.
But that’s my privilege, as a woman in a 21st century culture. I get to look back on other civilisations and dismiss their concerns as nothing more important than an after-taste of history. Those Aztecs, how bemusing. There’s plenty in my own culture that could lead to horrified gasps in the future. I won’t list them all, there’s far too much hand wringing on the Internet already. Suffice to say, I reject elements of the past, and no doubt the future will do the same to me.
And as I look at my sleeping son, I wonder what sins will he take issue with? Only time will tell.