August 08, 2006

Blind Leading the Blind

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.

It's a fact, punkin, that at various times in our lives, we see people who are doing similar jobs to us at seemingly far higher levels of success.

This is of course, also true for parenting.

As a parent, one often sees people who have very well mannered children, children without any vegemite on their foreheads. People who have obviously, punkin, got this whole parenting deal DOWN PAT, and have never ever done anything remotely like pulling a pillow over their heads and yelling LALALALALA when the discussion about who should get out of bed and tend to the screaming child at 230 in the AM.

These people, punkin, these people who have perfectly behaved children and dogs and well kept front lawns and suburban dreamhomes and fixed rate mortgages and well planned retirements, these people will never have the joy that I have every day.

They will never know the great surge of pride that fills me, everytime I see you do something that you've never done before.

The way you've started to turn on the phone and then hold it up to your ear, the way you've figured out how to turn the TV on and off (that's great, punkin, but please in future try to avoid doing it during Top Gear). The way, when I came home with new shoes, all you wanted to do was play with the box.

When I was away, and I was thinking about you every day, I didn't know for sure what it was I was missing. I kept trying to quantify it, to say well I miss his laugh, or I miss the way he hugs me so tight when he sees me, but immediately wants to get down when he sees something else interesting, or I miss the way that he knows where everything is in the kitchen and will grin when he sees you open the fridge to get a glass of milk, but I always came up short.

Because I couldn't come to terms with the fact that I missed all of you. I missed the totality of you. I miss the way that, in a time when I'm feeling under quite a lot of pressure to be someone or something that isn't coming easily to me, that you don't care. And that as much as I can do for you is to be the kind of man that I think you'll want me to be.

A cumbersome sentence, punkin, but it comes down to some pretty simple words.

Love you,


uppitywoman said...

That thing you miss- it's the 'Bram-ness ness'

Kathy said...

Those people don't exist, Bill. You KNOW they don't. You might see the kids behaving well and parents calm and unflustered on a particular day, at a particular moment. But what you don't see necessarily is all the not-so-polite moments and parental angst the lies behind it.

I do not believe in perfect parenting or perfect children. No, actually, that's not true - I believe it's the vegemite on the forehead, the 2:30am battle of wills, the cuddles, the sibling squabbles, the temper, the grizzling and the exploration that makes all kids perfect - perfectly themselves, and perfectly human. Parents who can to some extend roll with it and embrace the ride (and their kids) are doing the best job in the world. And that's my 0.02 worth :-)