Kahlil Gibran said something to the effect of: your children are not of you, but move through you. They have their own path to be taken by them and not you.
I want to come from higher thinking, accepting of all that my child does or is and yet…
I saw myself as sacrificing so much when he was young. I thought my sacrifice would equate to his success, as if it was equidistant to each other. It was not. No matter what I gave up for the boy, it didn’t matter because he didn’t take the path to success.
I offered him a white collar education, and he turned it down, beating his chest about blue collar blues. I offered him ease of youth, but he turned it down and lived his difficulty instead.
I was jubilant when his IQ was tested, doesn’t he demonstrate the best that a mind has to offer? Isn’t he the one who will give us new knowledge and insight? No, he told me, manual labor was his destiny. He claimed he was a good and hard-working man and didn’t need higher learning. But, he suffered, his brain moved faster than manual labor could provide and so he chose an altered consciousness.
His altered consciousness brought him a dishonest marriage and disappointment that he began to cling to. His life was one sadness after another all leading to a crumpled and vulnerable soul that would not function in the light.
I, who gave him my dream of a youth with freedom, an education with purpose, was disappointed and hurt that his choices walked so consistently to the dark side of life. Where was the brilliant smiling boya, that I loved so deeply? Why couldn’t I find him in the 45 year old man?
Who am I to ask that he make his life different than the one he chose? Who am I to ask that he choose a different path, even now? He is the man that he chose to be, he walks a path that he chose, I am no one to choose. I am only to sit on the sidelines and love.
Who can say why we must love our children? Some say it is the oxytocin. Some say that it is the genetic likeness. Some say that you cannot withhold from what comes from you.
All I know is this. I love them unmitigatedly. I cannot stop my love for my children any more than engineers could stop the direction of the Colorado River, can they? No.
There are those parents who do not care. Who are they? I have not met them. I do not know them.