Watching My Children Grow
If anybody wonders what I did between the ages of 35-55, I’ll direct them to this video. These two little people came into my life and through their mere existence, revolutionized it – not just emotionally but in ways that some might consider “spiritual”, though I wouldn’t. Just about everything else became secondary and while I can’t say that now, as adults, either are saints, I can only hope that they took some of what we had and kept it as precious, because it was.
FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD of Watching My Children Grow
voice & music + instrumental
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There are two other Suburban Geek illustrations by Turkish artist, Carman Cifter, that have soundtracks by Sardinian Roberto Diana, Her Sunshine Smile & The Songs Of My Youth (coming soon).
Watching My Children Grow narration
I remember the first moment, I held my baby, Matthew, in my hands. His barely-functioning eyes looked up at me from his pink, rat-like face and I said “Hello, friend” and he did turn out to be my friend, holding my hand, dragging me back from the Darkness. With his brother, Mhoram, it was very different – knowing that I would soon lose him – both of them – I still remember how I cried in confession as much as in defeat, “I’m so sorry, I’m so, so sorry.”
And as, soon, a two days a week father, Life wasn’t easy but whether they were two souls, reincarnated from out of the chaos of the cosmos – or merely two blobs of animated DNA – whatever the truth, it’s been an honor watching my children grow.
Oh, the laughter, the giggles, the occasional tired tears, the quiet talks in the womb of darkness before bed, when they’d whisper their hopes and secrets, the feeling that lasted, oh, well into their mid-teens, that I was blessed to have found such simpatico. As a 5 year old Mhoram would say, “We’re just three guys, Dad – we don’t need girls.”
No, no we didn’t need girls but they came.
First me, with Lady Geek, who surprisingly, loved them even more than I ever could* and then, in their teens, as Nature decrees it, their own girls:
the whirlwind of romance and modern broken hearts, of which they have to presume I know nothing
and CAN know nothing
an irrelevance from the shore of a distant generation, watching helplessly as the tide of Time pulls them further and further and further away, until they melt into the anonymous, bluish ebb and flow
This is Life. Hardwired into me, the almost-manic need to protect them from pain, the constant ache of worry.
Hardwired into them, the must of finding their own way, of drifting in the currents of Life, becoming who they were meant to be.
And as non-committal waves crash onto the sand and shameless seagulls squawk like some cacophonous choir, the sacrament draws to its end. I turn away, knowing that all is as it should be.
And yes, it has been an honor,
watching my children grow.
I’ve got no idea what folks will make of Watching My Children Grow, particularly parents but I’ve got a sneaky feeling that many will consider me slightly mad and laugh out loud at my over-romanticized take on the rearing of children. What a shame – too often, I’ve seen parents equate bringing up a child with somehow having the right to crush its individuality.
When my first child, Matthew, was only a few months old, he’d lie on his back, smiling, and with very graceful movements, pedal with his legs – as if on an invisible bicycle – and flap his arms, slowly, as if her were a bird, slowly rhythmically gliding. His mother considered Matt’s movements odd – and at times, freakish. I tried to amuse her by saying that he was only Cosmic Dancing but behind that was a bigger idea, that somehow, these movements expressed something deeply important within him and it was imperative that he be allowed to express whatever it was that those movements meant.
Later, they manifested as a more recognizable pursuit, swimming, water sports – and in a larger sense, belonging to the ocean. Now 24, Matthew remains a water baby – as you’ll see in a later video, FREEDIVE, (coming soon).
Matthew, pondering the sunset at Komodo National Park, Gili, Indonesia, July 2016
Matt’s never happy being away from the ocean for too long and his present plans are to study Psychology and eventually develop his own business in Therapy / Motivation, using Water skills:
- scuba-diving &
as a basis to help folks (or even just well-paying executives!) find themselves through – as I hear it – courage, application & a cool, life-changing experience.
Mhoram, on the other hand, is an entirely different character. Outwardly, he’s gregarious and genuinely charming and I gather, presently, something of a party animal, creating mayhem with fellow-backpackers in Central America.
Mhoram (right) with backpacking buddy, Gerald, Nicaragua, August 2016
However, as a young child, he was a solitary, often serious character with an astonishing capacity for application. From the ages of one to three, he was obsessed with building blocks, playing on his own for often, a couple of hours at a time. I remember, quite clearly, that before he could speak, he’d create quite intricate and detailed neighborhoods and Matthew, who could understand Mhoram’s baby-talk, would then explain the finer details of the town planning to me.
Later, Mhoram would gain similar enjoyment from the computer game, The Sims, building characters’ worlds for hours on end – usually with a teeny-weeny, satisfied smile on his face. What that told me then and still tells me, is that, as an adult, he will only ever find contentment when he uses his innate organizational skills to plan & build, whether in bricks & mortar or in a more abstract way, business, developing his own vision, – or contributing to some bigger idea that he believed in, passionately – observing it grow, particularly if it thrives through his probably well thought out suggestions.
NOTE: This has yet to come to fruition! However, now 22, I trust that his angel will soon flap her wings and deposit him precisely where he probably already knows that he should be.
I don’t share these observations of my children to boast but instead, to encourage parents to look for and nurture their own children’s innate, often, quite random individuality. If you do, they have the chance to develop their natural abilities and perhaps tap into something extraordinary, without much effort. If you child-whisper them to do what you want or worse, bully them to break their will, you may be happier – but I doubt that they will be.
And they’ll remember. Oh yes, they’ll remember.
Trust me, children are born with their own agenda. It’s best to help them work out what that is and then let them get on with it.
*I wrote this phrase “Lady Geek…surprisingly, loved them even more than I ever could” with great care and the full understanding that it might upset some folks – perhaps, even my own children – but it’s the truth! More so – for two years, at least – Matthew & Mhoram loved Lady Geek back, passionately. It wasn’t just the way-too-many treats and her freely-offered (and argued over) cuddles – she gave them something fundamental – and at the deepest level, they drank their fill, often inadvertently making me feel like I was something of a proud but slightly bemused second-class citizen!
Unfortunately, Lady Geek’s personal circumstances changed and she had to put her attention elsewhere for a couple of years. During that time, the kids grew up – as they do – and evil tongues wagged. Now, it appears, they barely remember anything of that time. Yet, I was there and I promise you, I had no mere fleeting, forest-glimpse – no, I witnessed a unicorn come out of the verdant depths and frolic with my children. With them, Lady Geek was no mature adult – instead, she was a pure, primal and utterly extraordinary force of Nature and Matthew & Mhoram were very, very lucky.
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