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ILL. A few years ago, Bill Cosby began his book, "Fatherhood," with these words: "So you’ve decided to have a child. You’ve decided to give up quiet evenings with good books & lazy weekends with good music, intimate meals during which you finish whole sentences, sweet private times when you’ve savored the thought that just the two of you & your love are all you will ever need.


"You’ve decided to turn your sofas into trampolines, & to abandon the joys of leisurely contemplating reproductions of great art for the joys of frantically coping with reproductions of yourselves. Why?"


He goes on, "Poets have said the reason to have children is to give yourself immortality; & I must admit I did ask God to give me a son because I wanted someone to carry on the family name. Well, God did just that & I now confess that there have been times I’ve told my son not to reveal who he is. `You make up a name,’ I’ve said. `Just don’t tell anybody whose son you are.’"

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