Thoughts on Parenthood

Parenthood

  • The tender feeling in my heart upon seeing a close friend’s kid and being amazed by how wonderfully life replicates itself.
  • The mind-blowing realization that I am no longer just one person – a part of me lives, breathes in another being.
  • The life lesson that what matters is not what I say to my kids but what I do because I know that they are watching my life unfold before them.
  • The joy of sharing my interests with my children – of introducing them to people, things, places I love.
  • Conversely, learning to love new things that they experiment with.
  • Reliving the angst of innocence all over again through my child.
  • The realization that love is solely in the giving, not in taking/ asking/ demanding.
  • The life lesson that too much of anything- love, care, affection does not nourish but smothers.
  • Learning from my mistakes and learning to let my kids make their own mistakes.
  • Knowing and remembering every misstep I have made as a parent and still hearing “I love you as you are” from my kid. If only I could learn to love with that compassion and humility.

What is it like to be you?

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Mom, sometimes I wonder about what it is like to be you.”

A little more prodding from my side and this comes up – “I often think about what it would be like to be other people but I don’t know because I have never been a grown-up……I wonder about what you think and feel…about me…..Do you ever wonder about what it is being me?”

Taken aback and caught off guard, I end up telling him – “I feel a sense of wonder that I am a parent and that you are my kid. I feel responsible towards you and your well-being, but most of all I just feel happy that we have each other. It is a great quality to be willing and able to consider how other people think and feel. I feel happy that you are thinking this way and hope that you would continue to do so.”

We reach the school, he gets out of the car and that is the end of the conversation.

But the thought dwells in my mind all day, it ruminates and that last line -“Do you ever wonder about what it is being me? ” really floors me and I think to myself, “I DO know what it is to be a kid. I have been one, and I have lived through a lot of the experiences that my kids are going through. Yet, how often do I put myself in their place and think about their perspective?”

Granted, the world has changed drastically since the time we were out and about riding our bikes, just being kids. However, the angst of that age is still the same. The journey of discovering multiple realities that spread outward from our family is still relatable.

If we make the effort, the world seems magical when looked at anew through our children’s eyes. Also, we somehow seem to see ourselves in a clearer light when examined through these different lenses.

As parents we have a ready frame of reference to fall back upon, and our task is somewhat easier than that of our kids who are still learning to navigate their way around the world.
In spite of this difference, we inexplicably expect our kids to know how to behave according to our expectations of them, assuming that they should be able to figure out what it is that we need from them, when they have no idea about our thought process, our current experiences.
They cannot metaphorically or realistically fill our shoes.
Simply because they have not lived that life yet.

So maybe it is time to let go of our egos and our self-consciousness about our roles as parents and simply remember what it is to be a kid.

To look at our kids and wonder —What is it like to be you?


*Image courtesy of Childhood by Rantes . Some rights reserved ( CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 )

Daughter

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Little girl,
I brought you into my consciousness
and here into this tangible world.
You,
a whole new self
thinking, believing, exploring…
What is it that I owe to you?

‘Now and henceforth –
A resolve to joyfully
tend to you, your needs,
your thoughts and your dreams.
An honest effort to awaken our minds- yours and mine
to the enormousness of life, the loftiness of ideals,
the sanctity of truth and the pursuit of self-realization.
A pledge to f
ind inside of myself
a love
that lets you go unfettered
on the path you choose.’

This is all that I hope I owe you
little girl, my daughter –
a person, her own being.


 *This is something I wrote a while back and I often find myself revisiting and reworking this as the years pass.
*Image courtesy of  flyzipper ( Some rights reserved )