Blessed by the wonder of little ones

2009-11-28 10:21

THE way we procreate is fascinating. Not

the act – which is good too – but rather the biology of it. Before the birth of

my son, the missus and I attended antenatal classes for a couple of months. We

wanted to ­experience every aspect of the coming of this little person and we

consumed every morsel of information we could find.

The best advice I was given probably came from my father who, after

raising five children, simply said: all children are different, with different

personalities. What works for one won’t ­always work for another. Don’t let the

books make you forget that.

Even if the books tried to make me forget, my son makes me

remember, every minute, that he is his own person. Children are amazing beings.

They are absolutely fascina­ting, blessed, powerfully loving beings who ­truly

mould the lives of those around them.

If you know me, you know that the birth

and existence of my son has had a profound effect on my life, what I do and how

I see the world. I pursue my dreams, work hard and live life with him as the

underlying reason for everything. I am by no means an expert but I do find that,

as a writer, it is instinctive to try to get to the core of every experience and

understand its intricacies. I do that a lot.

I see my responsibility as creating the foundation for him in the

same way that my father created one for me. I am a walking cliché.

I use phrases

like: the ultimate blessings; changed my life; and creating a legacy. I use them

and mean them in the truest sense.

Every day I learn a lot about the world

around me as I watch him discover it for the first time.

I recognise the power of us as beings every time I watch him

discover another thing he is capable of, like the first time he jumped off a

couch or threw something across the room. He’s learning how to speak and picks

up words from everywhere, especially music, and has embarrassed me singing

Birthday Sex or Hotel Room Service in public but it still leaves me in awe.

I do, and will continue to do, everything in my power to ensure

that my son has a comfortable life with everything he needs to be able to build

the life he eventually wants to live. I work night and day to ensure this and

will continue to do so, even if it means sacrificing some of my more frivolous

wants.

I have become a lot more conscious of children. When walking in

malls or on the street, I notice children more than adults. I see parents with

their children before I see the solo acts. I exchange knowing looks and smiles

with other parents and, in situations where I’m given strange looks, I am quick

to explain that I have one too. And we all smile knowingly. Our smiles are like

secret handshakes in underground societies designed to rule the world.

The flipside to this is that I cannot bear seeing children who do

not have the parents who would do anything for them or who do not have the

access, capacity, or privilege to ensure that they can build the best life for

their children. It hurts me to see a child playing on the island between two

roads, learning how to walk up to every car with an outstretched hand.

I stopped reading much of the news after my son was born. A lot of

it only delves into the most gruesome of tragedies about children. I can’t make

sense of it and it depresses me, so I bury my head in the sand like the

proverbial ostrich. I just wish we could make every child’s life perfect. We all

stumble along the way and make decisions that determine our lot in the present,

but a child cannot be held accountable for those in the early years.

I am sorry for putting a damper on your ­Sunday read but, as we

enter 16 Days of ­Activism Against Women and Children Abuse, let us remember

that there are so many children out there who are living with the worst abuse

imaginable. This is something we need to tackle head on, without shame, without

being swayed by political or power issues, without waiting for 16 days from

December 1 every year.

We all have the power to positively affect the life of a child in a

very real way. For some of us, the money we spend on takeaways in a weekend is

what others must raise families with in a month. How often do we pay lip service

to the children being the future yet leave them unable to live beyond the

present? If we want a future, we can’t continue to live that way, allowing the

worst of crimes to be committed on children. The ­future becomes

bleak.


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