The deepest wish for the future.
To have children, is to be a watcher of the future. To look on them, is to wonder what they might become, one day and to feel a duty to guide them or empower them , to be whatever they truly wish.
A couple of days ago, my wife Syahidah looked at me across the dining table.
“I hope our kids grow to be as patient as you.”, she began, her eyes looking deeply across the table and into the future, at the same time.
I was pleased to hear that implicit compliment.
“...and as tidy as me.”, she said, with a meaningful gaze.
I wasn’t so pleased to hear that implicit criticism!
I laughed though. “That is just like something Fintan might say.”
She smiled her agreement.
We see each other, in each other, every day, in ways little and large. Her remark had the comic structure of Fintan’s utterances – and no doubt, his had that structure, because of her. I felt the invisible bonds of like mindedness joining us, in that moment. We are each a part of the other, a partial reflection of each other. This is a fact of all families – but one too often not fully understood I feel. Every one of our children is a part of us, us a part of them. In their minds are thoughts we would recognize as like our own, feelings too, that we know so well.
I like this togetherness. It is what makes a family feel so different from any other random group of people known to each other. We are not just known to each other – we are like each other, fashioned from the very same cognitive and affective substance.
It is interesting to look at our children and see which elements of them come from my wife and which from myself. It is not difficult to see the jigsaw puzzle that they are, as a rearrangement of components within ourselves.
Considering her wish, I would say I have to agree. I hope they have my patience and her tidiness – the other way around just would not do at all!
One day, we will know. I look forward to that day and all the others, in which my children are becoming. It is a story of infinite richness, written before my eyes, daily. It is also a story I cannot, now, imagine, ever having missed.
Here’s to a patient and tidy future!
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: a parents view of a child, a person's characteristics, attitudes to children, child development, Fintan Cawley, innate character, looking to the future, moral development, Syahidah Osman Cawley