Not long ago, I was asked a question about what I wanted for my son when he grows up. Of course, I had thought about it quite a lot, but never really boiled my wishes down to a bite-sized gestalt that would fit into a conversation. What came out was a really long combination of hopes, dreams and things I wish I had done when I was young…but none of that felt right. Like I was only dancing around the essence of what my real wishes were for Little Bug.
Over the last few months, I’ve had this conversation with other parents, and I’ve had a chance to really get to the meat of what I truly want for him. Several other questions and hypothetical situations popped up as well, giving me a chance to test out these ideas and see if they felt like they truly summed it all up, which I’ll get to in a sec.
What I want for Little Bug:
1. To be Happy.
More than anything, I want him to be happy with himself, no matter what situation he finds himself in. I know that’s not gonna happen 24/7, but the ability to be a generally happy person, content with his abilities and shortcomings is something I want for him. People react to happiness. It’s infectious and increasingly rare. I believe true inner happiness will bring peace to his life in situations that otherwise will go sour on him.
I also believe that natural happiness will result in a deep kindness and compassion within him. It lends itself to a gentle nature under which the acts of creation resonate more that those of destruction.
I want him to be happy with his life. The question came up about what I would do if it turns out he’s gay. The first thing that came to my mind was: “As long as he’s happy…” And I really truly feel that. I don’t care what his sexual orientation is, or political views are, or what he does for a living. As long as he’s happy, I’m good. Same rules apply, though. No boys in the house when I’m not there. Be smart, use protection, and I’ll still be polishing my katana on the porch when his boyfriend nervously comes to meet me for the first time. I’d also wish that he’d consider adopting at some point to carry on the family name. He’s the only son of an only son, and I feverently wish for him to experience the joys of fatherhood.
2. The ability to make good decisions based on his own analysis.
I want him to challenge where his ideas come from. Even if he’s making decisions I don’t agree with, as long as he’s able to gather his own data, question its validity, and make decisions based on his own ideas–NOT just blindly follow ideas planted in him by the media, or his peers…(or even his father).
I think this ability comes with a set of internal circumstances which are also beneficial. He’ll need to have confidence in his intellect and problem solving abilities, and that’s always good. He will have to trust in himself and be able to stand up for his beliefs, and he won’t be afraid to make mistakes, or admit when he’s wrong. All good things.
Now, I think there will be conflicts, of course, such as if his internal compass guides him to a decision not to eat his veggies, then I’m going to have to override that decision for a few years…
3. Be curious
I hope that he will inherit my endless curiosity. While it’s gotten me into copious amounts of trouble, I feel it’s been the defining agent of change in my life. Curiosity will lead him to find his passions in this world. To be unafraid to ask questions and gain understanding about the universe around him. His greatest discoveries will be earned on the path that is set before him by his inquisitive side. I firmly believe that the love of learning comes from this, at its root.
4.To love and be loved
Self explanatory, I’d say…but if I could inject a selfish thought here, it’s that I hope he knows growing up, and for the rest of his life, that I love him more than I ever thought it possible to love anything or anyone. And that no matter what happens, or what he does, I’ll always love and protect him. I hope he knows that he can ALWAYS come to me, and that we can talk about anything.
So, I think that pretty much sums it up. If you’re reading this, my boy (and I have no doubt that you will someday), no matter what our trials are, at the end of the day…this is all I truly want for you. Now eat your veggies.
As always, Dear Reader, thanks for following this ramble to the end, and may your Saturday be filled with laughter and pancakes.