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.