“Oh my! Honey, come look. Quick! This was not in the specifications! They seem to possess a strange ability. Sweet Lord! They came with… minds!? What did we do to deserve this? We are nice people, whom did we offend?”
My somewhat overworked mind came up with this scenario for the first set of parents when they found out that their precious children had minds of their own.
It’s not as if they thought they were getting a dummy for a child, but they certainly thought this baby was going to function exactly like they want it to -according to their inputs and that alone. Well, he is allowed to make deductions and decisions but those too should be as they (the parents) would make them, and not so differently.
Let’s explore the first parents a little more, shall we? Imagine an alternate universe, (so, stop thinking Adam and Eve already :)).
Time was freshly conceived and the starter had not yet started counting. Wish we could, but we cannot call it 0000BC, just because.
The baby came and was all pink and fuzzy. This was the being they had adored sight unseen. s/he finally comes and adoration meter shoots to the end of the scale, right before the nappy changes and sleepless nights.
I can imagine them sharply sucking in their breath in unfeigned outrage at the first audacious display of independence. That is ridiculous, I know, but these are the first parents, with no experiential or scientific information to go by. How would they know what to expect? (Yo! Stop thinking ‘wisdom’ and ‘instincts’, dude, this here is a spoof)
The child grows and so does this strange phenomenon. She prefers to swim rather than learn Music. He wants quiet when you think he should be among his peers. She wants to build Rockets, you think Medicine or Law sounds more practical. He dreams of becoming a Chef, you think: “not on your life”
Before the invention of the ‘be who you want to be’ phrase, I wonder how these folks managed. They may have gone through denial, anguish, disappointment, felt cheated, be struck with wonderment as this little fella mirrors what they do and still somehow ends up being his/her own self.
One minute, they are teaching him Arithmetic and his adoring eyes make them feel like heroes, the next, he is all smart and lecturing them on Quantum Physics.
They prefer the storybook promise of permanence but this child keeps his Chameleon outfit fashionable.
Parents generally feel pride at their kids’ achievements but it seems they constantly try to preserve a hold with their usual attack/defense being that they have been around longer than you, seen more, and well, know better. It is not uncommon to hear things like “who is the Parent here?”, “who got to this world first between you and I?”
It is understandable that parents may tend to worry and be overly concerned for their children. It’s natural. Especially as all children are wont to think they have seen it all and they are both street-smart and world-savvy (which is also natural).
You would be concerned too if you were them- as a child is a piece of you running around in the world, and you, all things being equal, want the best for him/her.
Sometimes also, you may be wanting to live vicariously through the child, making available your missed opportunities and correcting the mistakes you figure you made in life through them.
Noble intentions, but er… NO. Guide, support, nurture, advise, scold, help, gently push (where necessary), protect even, but do not impose… let them be all they want to be.
Love would do that.
I appreciate the fact that parenting is hard work, it takes a lifetime, tonnes of patience, strength, flexibility and a warehouse of wisdom.
Honour your parents, love them (in spirit and in deed), respect and cherish them. Even if some things have gone wrong between you guys or they have rubbed you the wrong way, they are human, no catalogue or manual came with you at birth, neither did any suddenly appear as you grow.
Besides, you were way too awesome to correctly assess and for some time there, they were silently wondering who made you with that mind!
You’ll see, when you get to be a parent too, more than once, about your child, you will find yourself pondering: where did s/he get that mind? I hope you remember your growing up and swallow your dosage prescription of chill pills then. 😀
Actually, I think the first parents (refer above) would have been sorely disappointed if the child hadn’t come with a mind of its own. But hey,
That’s my story
I’m sticking with it
for reading this
beautifully ridiculous piece.