Sunday, September 14, 2014

Shouldn't I?

My son made this toolbox in his Industrial Arts class back when he was still in high school. MADE THIS. Every single part of it. Inside there's even a tray that can be removed. He MADE this.

My kids are out of high school now and have both moved away, both pursuing further education, yet since their births they would do these things that amazed me and this question would pop into my head every time: who are you people?

They just did things. And could do things. Things that surprised me.

I'm not bragging. This is not about bragging. Parents who brag are annoying. This is about wonder. I've always been a wonder-junkie. I marvel at plenty of things and sometimes that includes my kids.

Now that they've moved out of our lives, I still wonder at who they are and what they do and why they do what they do: both their genius and their idiocy. As their father, someone who has been with them every step of the way, shouldn't I have some sort of key to every post office box inside their brains? Shouldn't I know them better than they know themselves? Shouldn't I be able to predict their choices? Shouldn't I...?

And that's my mistake right there, isn't it? Me, me, me. This isn't about me. This is my struggle, not theirs. I need to remember that happiness is an inside job. I'm sure I taught them that because that is exactly what they are off seeking. I only need to relearn this myself.

"We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it." Rainer Maria Rilke, poet

6 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Your post made me think of Khalil Gibran's poem about children --

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

Pickleope Von Pickleope said...

You probably do know them better than they know themselves. Nobody has a level of detached self examination that they know themselves even a little bit. I'm a complete stranger to myself. I need a third party to look me over and judge my life choices, he's called a psychiatrist and he's way more expensive than the man who raised me who I could probably have just as easily called up and gotten the same brutal honesty that I pay $100 per hour for from the disinterested psychiatrist.
That box is pretty cool. I'm in awe of it as well.

E. Angelina said...

It is a darn fantastic box. You have guided him well, and deserve to revel in his awesomeness.

Alittlesprite said...

My son is one step away from being an evil genius.

Kerry said...

Very nice tool box, that. You've raised them well, and now they're off doing their own things, maybe making their own mistakes. Parenting is bittersweet.

Al Penwasser said...

I get it! That reminds me of a clock that my son made in Tech Class in his freshman year of high school. It still works and sits atop our mantle.
Not bad for something made eight years ago by a 14 year old kid.

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