Tuesday 11 March 2014

Thought Picnic: When your child is very different from you

Genealogies of uncles
Watching television programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? On the BBC sometimes fills me with some regret, the regret of poor documentation in Africa that means there are few or no archives to be researched for detail about the lives of my forebears and ancestors along with another more personal one.
That being the fact that my life is somewhat documented but if anyone of my relations would be interested in a future time, it would not be through my children but through the offspring of my siblings.
The plot of my lot
Now, as I have written before, I have made peace with myself quite conclusively after chemotherapy that the matter of bearing children is done, though it has never really been a pressing issue apart from the encouragement bordering on harassment of my parents in their desire for grandchildren, and they do have many.
Yet, as I watch the continuum of life in people raising children, not only am I fascinated by the miracle of life, but also the interactions between parent and child along with the attendant responsibility that refocuses perspectives of guardians in relation to their wards.
A child is always a person apart
It is a wonderful thing to be cherished, and I hope that the more parents appreciate the individuality and uniqueness of their children, resisting the tendency to mould them into something they are not, they can help them in the pursuit of their own happiness which might not be fully aligned with their expectations. Parents might find that diversity is a lively thing and more so a greater blessing to them as it is a reaffirmation of the personality of their child.
Most parents in their heart of hearts mean well for their children, and when met with great difficulty of accepting some unexpected and somewhat unpalatable truths about their children, I hope they would be protective, loving, understanding and supportive parents first and well above what they think they are to their community and in society at large.
Think as a parent
It is sometimes a big ask of parents, but some things are just as they are, and what would you do despite all they you know and hold dear when you learn that you child is gay?
Will your humanity allowing for acceptance despite the painful realisation it portends for a while, adjust yourself to accommodate the difficult or would you allow yourself to be overcome with depression and the indifference of strangeness and apathy leading to rejection?
Think as a parent should think – your child needs you more to face the world, do not throw your child to the dogs, in selfish anger.

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