Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The smaller they are, the harder we fall

Kaya (my daughter) turned one year recently & it has certainly been an awesome journey. I'd sure like to wax lyrical about how much she has learnt and what all great things she does, apart from saluting me at regular intervals, but she has her own blog. This is my blog and here I am allowed to write about how much I have learnt over the last year.

I think as a parent the biggest thing I have learnt over the last year has been to appreciate the small things. The ability to support your own neck. The ecstatic jumping with joy on someones ability to poop. The satisfaction on feeling a burp. The pride on seeing somebody urinate in the potty seat. The awe at the complexity of the human body to actually stand in place, bend down and pick up a round object.

I like to think that I am still learning. I am learning that it is a privilege when someone rests her head on your shoulder. and I am learning that it is harder then I expected to watch your kids fall. The day my kid learnt to roll over, it seems to have been a series of suicidal rushes as a carry over of some Jihad from her last life. As she is now learning to walk, things have only gotten worse. The last time, she dived off her Pram in great style to land face first in grass.

The problem that I am facing is that the realization is dawning that this is not going to get easier. Today itself she seems to be more keen on running, rather then understand how walking works. After the pram incident she has hopefully understood that flying would take longer to master.

The only solution to this seems to be to restrict her movements to an area two by two feet covered below by an mattress, above by limitless air and surrounded on all sides by parents. And every time I do this, I only feel that I am holding her back from achieving her true potential. She would probably be already running laps around the house If it hadn't been for the dammed mattress.

I realize that the actual problem might be metaphorical. Maybe I am actually getting myself to come to grips with the fact that kids will grow up and that they will take actions that will cause pain, hurt and other associated emotions in varying percentages. And over time, my words will progress from orders to instructions to advice to suggestions to guidelines to garbage. And not necessarily in that order.

There are of course ways in which new parents can get over their fear of their children hurting. Much like microwaving eggs, this would involve dropping kids from progressively greater heights and leaving them in progressively hazardous situations. Once we have a detailed database, we can then carry out a detailed risk analysis and set our risk limits in which to expose the little chaps. The only downside with this approach that I see, is that due to the changing physical nature of kids, we will have to undertake the study every alternate year. An alternate to this would be to set a height limit. i.e you could say that once your kid was as tall as your shoulder, you would let them do whatever the hell they wanted. reaching your ear would mean free prophylactics on the dinner table. There are further options, and as I weigh the merits of each of them versus the two by two mattress approach, I fear and fret.

That is another thing I am learning. I am learning to be afraid.


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Ken E. Beck said...

Hey Velu, what a great post. The problem with raising children is that the voyage plan goes out of date too quickly as things evolve in ways one never expects.

BTW I was just in your neighborhood, Corpus Christi and Beaumont, someone needs to straighten out and widen the Neches River.

Vinnie said...

my love n kisses to Kaya....
beautiful name, Captain :)

Barista Uno said...

I am a widower with an only child who's now a woman. My parenting has always been inspired by these words from the Lebanese mystic poet Kahlil Gibran:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

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.


Peace, brother.

Rishi said...

Great Post, and a grand blog.
Keep sailing!