Monday, January 3, 2011

On Parents and Parenting

It is inescapable.  As parents, we inflict irreparable harm upon our children.  And as adults, we carry with us scars and strengths we developed from times we failed to please the closest thing to God we'll know in this life.

And perhaps that's the root of the conflict presented in the parent/child relationship.  A child can only see their creators and providers, protectors and teachers as Gods, when in fact they are fallible, flawed people who once needed creation and provision, protection and teaching.  And so the cycle goes.

I think most people do the best they can with what information and resources they have.  Apart from the truly horrible element of society, it is the first instinct of all humans to protect any child, especially those in their care, and none so much as their own.  And yet, even though our parents love us, and nourish us, still, they must fail us in order for us to become whole people.

While parents do retain their overall Godliness, there are moments, in every person's life, where the human pokes through.  That time your mother didn't believe you when you really hadn't taken the book.  The trip with your dad where he took the side of his friend instead of yours.

And don't get me started on divorce.  While it is generally a good thing for all involved, it is also generally the nastiest and most painful experience a couple and it's issue can endure.  How else could it be?  Two people who thought they were perfect for each other have discovered they are not, and now, what's more, there are children.  Children who must be protected, nourished, loved and taught.  Children whose Gods have begun to fight and disagree, perhaps even try to hurt each other.

This particular struggle seems to be a theme in my life.  I was once a child of such a conflict, and now I find myself among a family going through that self-same struggle.  What can I offer in this situation?  My experience could have been better, it also could have been much worse.  Now the things I "would have done differently" are the things I AM doing differently.

It seems like an excellent time to consult the demi-gods.  The Gods in this story have their roles, and that is not a conflict I can help.  But the step-parents, and the future step-kids.  These are the relationships that might yet become very important to me in the future.  Perhaps its time more than one hatchet was buried.

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