If you saw this baby some 20-odd years ago, who would you think she would grow up to be?
This is a photo I keep stuck on my closet door. To remind myself of a time when anything was possible. When all you cared about is when you’re gonna eat next, and whether you can poop nicely afterwards. When happy days come easily. From just a cuddle, a kiss, your mom taking your picture, playing with your feet, getting a new toy, and you’re already having the best day ever. When you have an entire life of possibilities in front of you.
Sometimes, I’d wonder whether my mom and dad, when they were looking at me like that, ever wondered what kind of person I’ll be grown up. Did they want me to become anything, or be in whichever way? And I’d wonder how they see me now. Are they disappointed? Satisfied? Happy? Glad? Wish I’m someone else? Some other way?
I had a friend in highschool who didn’t want to have kids. The idea was that kids are such a wildcard. It’s a big unknown. Even after all the love and efforts put into them, you still won’t know whether they’re gonna grow up to become gangsters, drug dealers, bad in maths, excel in English, constant party-goers, get pregnant at 15, film-maker, burger-flipper, banker, try to kill themselves, work in mental health, have 17 boyfriends, hates granola bars and becomes allergic to whisky.
For some strange reason, I’ve been thinking the same lately. Having kids is such a big risk. You’ll never know what’s gonna happen. Even though many say they don’t, I’m sure parents have some sort of expectation, or hope, on what their children will be like. Whether they hope that they’ll become an Arsenal fan just like their dad or take after their mom in their sense of style or study aerospace engineering……etc. How do they feel when their kids aren’t who they’d hoped they’ll be?
I’m sure I’ve given my dad his share of disappointments. I’m not a doctor/lawyer/business person/name-a-professional. I still haven’t gone to graduate school. I spend too much time on hockey. I can’t play the piano. I wear flip flops instead of nice shiny expensive dress shoes…..
I stick that picture on my closet door to remind myself of when life was simple, happiness was easy to come by, possibilities abound………and how I can definitely live that way right now too.