On Parenthood & Making Mistakes
I originally wrote this on 1 July 2013 whilst travelling back home from Bangkok. I typed the whole article in Notes.app on my iPhone during the flight and after I had, had a couple of glasses of good red wine.
But I never published this when I got back to my computer, because it felt way too emo to me.
I stumbled back onto this yesterday and whilst reading it I felt vulnerable, both as an adult and especially as a parent. That vulnerability is what changed my decision to publish this: when something feels uncomfortable, it’s a good reason to do it. :)
I’ve been away from my son for 10 days.
Every time I look at this picture of him, I’m reminded not just about the bond that I hope we share (one day, when he is older & understands the nuances of life); but also the dreams I harbour for his future.
See, my son is awesome, because he is my own and of my blood. I can see that he has the world at his feet and that it is his oyster. (Cliché, I know.)
He is also the awesomest, smartest and funniest kid that I’ve met in my life. And I’m richer because of that.
But even at this ridiculously young age, he is his own man. Just like his dad.
See, I rebelled against my dad’s experience & the mistakes that he thought he made. As a teenager, I fought for my right to make my own mistakes with the ideal of learning from those mistakes.
Sometimes when my dad said “Zig!”, I decided to “Zag”. Because I could. Because I had the space and capability to go my own way.
And - at the time - this hurt my relationship with my own dad, even though it created the man that I am today.
What I’ve realised is that every parent only wishes the best for their kids and only harbours the most ambitious dreams.
This means that the characteristics I would most admire in my own son, could be the first to muddle our relationship: independence, initiative, self-confidence, humility & ambition.
As a young parent this realisation is hard to accept; all I really want is for my son to continue the “legacy” I started.
But then I remember that my legacy is the one I chose myself. The road I’m on, is the one that resonates with. I’m on this journey, because it makes me be a better version of myself.
And that’s the fight that I’ll fight for my son; the opportunity to be the Adii that he wants to be.