Sunday 17 November 2013

Thought Picnic: To wilfully forget a parent's birthday

An unfortunate breakdown
It probably signifies a breakdown in relationship building when parents and children grow considerably distant that the only connection between them becomes that of grudging filial duty rather than longing friendship.
Association challenges some children and at times blackmail spurs action through comparison and embarrassment; caught between comparison and envy of others who have cultivated better of parent-child interaction.
These things do not happen in a vacuum, opportunity and choice over the years left untapped and unexploited defines what becomes of how parent and child respect, acknowledge and support each other in whatever paths they all choose and thrive in.
Emotions in turmoil
This might catch a child between resentfulness and gratitude; the former borne of unfortunate inadequacies on both sides and the latter recognising that as age diminishes the influence of parentage, their being around still offers some slight opportunity at reconciliation and renewed friendship.
Resentfulness however is a consuming fire that leaves a person in danger of being past caring, indifferent, unconcerned, disinterested and unaffected.
Exasperated kids
Children are not perfect, and parents do strive to do their best within the spectrum of the knowledge and experience they have from handling the responsibility of making basic provision of shelter, protection, education and material needs, but these are no substitutes for the intangibles of love and affection borne out of proper emotional engagement.
Children do get exasperated starting with parents demanding respect through to parents being overly controlling that the child never gets to live their own life. Crudely, you find instances where the father expects to be feared, and the mother will not countenance the idea of joking or laughing with the children in idle banter.
A lack of adaptation
Independence cannot then come too quickly for the child to break free. The nature of the break if not properly recognised by the parent such that they adapt will lead to unavoidable disengagement as each party goes their different ways, decades separating them until it appears they do not matter to each other anymore than through the intrusion of emotion brought on by nostalgic impudence.
That things could have been better is no more the discussion or argument, whether the time can be redeemed is another issue, but worse still is the possible regret that might follow never having done something when things could be done on the side of both the parent and the child.
You then ask; can a child wilfully forget a parent’s birthday? At which point your realise that things have really gotten that bad and rather than face the trepidation that infuses each conversation when they talk, the greater peace though without comfort is best served by just getting on with your life and the sadness of the story being told.
Providence and consequence draws on a long history of experiences, we are young, we cultivate relationships and grow old living the knowledge of our lived out truths. For those whose memory is the keenest, the hope is that the good remembered outnumbers the ready reckoner of the bad and the ugly when it is all put in the balance.
C’est la vie will say the French, but just west of France, in Spain, one might hear, Que sera, sera.

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