Seeking parental approval is something we all do, right?
All children know their parents are incredibly proud of them. Right?
All the time, right?
Sure, me too …
We know it, they know it – but we have to show it, say it, show it again, say it again, again and again and again.
There is always something our funny brains are trying to do. All, I’ve learned, we can do is try to do better, to do more and hopefully we’ll get it right one day.
My daughter Carla celebrates birthday #36 today.
Joy, sweetness, blue eyes, blonde, ten fingers, ten toes – she began, as every father wishes, perfect.
But we want much more, don’t we?
I don’t mean living vicariously through my children – but we want goodness for them. We want them to do well in life, chase their goals, demonstrate values, grow wise and to avoid our pratfalls.
Her life is very much in order, she’s build a solid foundation of education, career, careful husband shopping, two kids who have yet to be spoiled by grandpa … but give me time.
Seriously, I’ve been incredibly impressed – above all things Carla, by her parenting. I’m amazed, delighted and enormously proud. I see my grandchildren under the influence of such a wise guiding hand.
While she, like most kids, probably has some wishes that her father would have been different in some ways, been better at some things, been more of what he could have been and a little less full of himself . . . and she’d be justified. I, on the other hand, have never had a doubt, a regret or complaint about either of my daughters. Sure, we’ve disagreed, and failed each others lofty expectations from time to time … but really, so little trouble that it seems trivial to call it trouble.
And, for the record, I approve.
Parents seek approval of their children too – maybe not so much when they are young, but later on, that quality of life comes home to roost and judgment is visited, or perceived to be, by the child upon the parent.
And we all can only hope we are considered worthy at some point, though many times we have failed to be what we’d hoped to be.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -20C (wind chill -26) / -4F, ice crystals, calm … gritty footing and hope for milder days this week add confidence to our steps – critters are still in hiding, yellow buses careening around corners in defiance of ice and oncoming traffic …