I am a new parent, and so I am experiencing everything for the first time.
A lot of questions that I had, are now being answered. A lot of thoughts that I had, are now been addressed.
Everyone has heard this dialogue from their parents – You will know one day, when you become a father (or mother).
It’s almost like a veiled threat, more than a preview of a wonderful experience.
This dialogue crops up at every material instance – when they stop you from doing something, when they urge you to study hard, when you ask them why they curb your freedom, and so on.
We go though our childhood seeing them as heroes, and then the ugly teens hits us. That’s when most of us gravitate towards are friends, and parents are seen as spoilsports.
And then we grow up, and parents are sometimes even seen as hostile, and people who “do not understand you.”
This continues, the bond keeps getting weaker and weaker, until the day you become a parent.
That’s when a lot changes, your whole world in fact, but then something else happens too.
What it is…
To be a father.
All of a sudden, your selfishness, your single-minded devotion to your own well-being, even at the cost of others, your material desires, everything just drops down many notches on the marker of your priorities, and one being ascends triumphantly to the top…your child.
Every benchmark changes, every perspective changes. It is as if your world is taken over by this cute bundle of 3 kilograms, who says it best..without saying anything at all.
He looks at you and you melt, he cries and you cry with him, he laughs and you cry tears of joy…Oh romantic love is not a patch on the love that you have for your child.
But with the love also comes responsibilities. Now, there is someone who depends on you. A lot. A whole lot.
Not like those birds in my balcony, who get a 7-day crash course in life (much like the 200-hour yoga courses) and then are left to fend for themselves.
This kid needs you for a long, long time. And you break your back, and perspire, and give it your all, so that he can have…as the cliche goes – what you didn’t have.
Until one day, he grows up a little, and then the bond starts to weaken. It is not that he does not love you anymore, but he outgrows the dependence. His world now has more people, and while you are important (yet), you get relegated to a good corner while others take centrestage.
And you are not to sulk, but to let everyone have their chance in the spotlight of his attention…until you realize that you are being pushed further and further up the audience, until you reach the end.
From where you can see but a glimpse of him on stage, and you hope that he can see you as well, seated so far back in the darkness.
A lot of people clap for him, but you clap the loudest. Unfortunately, he can only hear the ones closer to the stage, and they seem loud enough for him to think of them as his closest ones.
And when you call out to him, he can but hear a feeble sound over the cacophony…
Yes, being a parent is a never-ending process of giving, and receiving a lot lesser in return. But you tend to keep giving anyways, because you owe it to them.
To who? Of course, to the ones who gave you their all. The ones who brought you to your stage, and who pushed themselves back into the audience…
And so, as I embark on this new journey, I do have many thoughts, and many perspectives, and I am no different from every other parent out there.
I am a candle, burning bright for my son, until the wax runs out in the process:)
See you tomorrow!