The Happiest Number
Just a few pages into her new book, One and Only, Lauren Sandler cites Alice Walker on the question of whether women should reproduce. “They should have children,” Walker told an interviewer, “assuming this is of interest to them—but only one. . . . Because with one you can move. . . . With more than one, you’re a sitting duck.” Walker is used here to endorse Sandler’s own position, which is that having only one child allows women to have it all.
By this formulation, children are simply one part of a balancing equation for women—no more or less important than work or pleasure, friendship or romance.
About the Author
Naomi Schaefer Riley is the author, most recently, of ’Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America (Oxford).