Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wanted and Loved

We were watching "Six Feet Under" last night, and boy, that show has gotten pretty depressing. Wait, it has always been depressing. What am I saying? Anyway, David and Keith are looking into adopting or having a surrogate mother help them, so they can be dads. At one point, they go to the house of another gay acquaintance of theirs, who has some other friends over for drinks. They raise a toast to David and Keith's endeavors. The toast? "May every child be wanted and loved just as they are, because otherwise, life is hell." Wow. Now, I know this toast is coming from a gay man, and his personal hell has been fighting against prejudices against gay people, and mostly the hell of his parents not approving, their disappointment, etc. (I'm assuming...they don't give back story on this character). That quote got me to thinking, about how our desires for our children put so much pressure on them. We look at the things that we think of as faults in our children, and we hold them against the child. I mean, I HOPE I don't do that with Maya. I wish she liked math more...I hope I don't hold it against her that she doesn't. That she is who she is. But I think this issue goes beyond liking math, for many people. What of the thin parent who silently criticizes their child for being heavy? What of the educated parent who doesn't understand their bookworm? Or the parent who wants a lawyer for a child, and gets a mechanic, an actor, a slacker? Wanted an athlete, got a couch potato. Wanted healthy, got a child with disabilities. Can we let go of our ideals for what we want from our child, and let them know that no matter what, no matter what wishes we may have for them and their happiness, we love them JUST AS THEY ARE? Are these things mutually exclusive? Can you love a child unconditionally and still wish they were a bit different? Or do you have to open your heart in the way of Buddha, and let the whole child in, not just the parts we prefer.

Kind of rambling post here...just thoughts that I had after watching the show, watching the Fisher family love each other in their own way, hate each other in their own way, and their bubbling resentments come dangerously close to the surface.

6 comments:

Autumn's Mom said...

Good thoughts. I'm a control freak (from having an out of control childhood). I sometimes think that Autumn is better than I could have ever imagined. I also think she is completely exasperating in other ways. I wish she didn't have her little OCD problem. I wish she were less stubborn. I wish she'd wear friggin deodorant! ha But with all that I wish, I love her with every fiber of my being. So much so it hurts. If I could control her, she'd be a neurotic little me. :( All her weirdness make her Autumn. And I hope she knows that she is wanted and loved always. I should probably make sure she knows today!

Pony Storm's Ride said...

Applicable quote from Erica Jong:
"...any word of direction from a parent carries the weight of an iron anchor dropping into the sea. It may take the child's enthusiasm with it."
SEDUCING THE DEMON,p.266

Ally Bean said...

Loving people and liking people are two different things. That always seems to explain family dynamics for me.

Great topic to think about.

hellomelissa said...

i haven't commented in a while, but it's not because i haven't been thinking about "thinking about..." you have so many great ideas for me to ponder day in and day out. thank you! kids are just such fascinating creatures to watch grow and evolve... with and without our input. i sit back and enjoy the days and savor the show. and hope the outcome is happy and healthy! we've all made our share of mistakes, and it'll be tough seeing our kids make similar ones. ahhh, growing pains.

Ms. Mamma said...

Very thoughtful. It's just SF and myself so I really try and let him discover what he likes and what he wants to do. I show him things and then let him decide. My parents never really exposed me to a huge variety of things, I had to discover them myself. I want to give my little bambino a jump start in that respect. Ultimately, I really believe in doing what ever it is that you love and doing it well, even if that means being a garbage man. I'd love him to be a plastic surgeon or whatever culture deems the hot and mighty occupation, but not at the cost of his happiness! I will always be his #1 fan. Zipping the lip now...

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