In truth, I carry a sense of grief that the precious gift of being given the opportunity to bring up my children has now passed as they move on into adulthood.
Of course, I am aware that new opportunities for sharing my life and sharing in their lives are present and will develop and change in the years ahead.
As I now often travel with my wife, without children, and carry a sense of loss, I do very much enjoy watching parents manage their children as they pass by.
Last week, in the airport queue for customs, a little boy aged about two was having a mega-tantrum and giving his parents a hard time of it.
His young father, was getting slightly exasperated with the situation (reminder of self in that situation!) and appealed to his son to stand up and stop being silly.
The child was having none of it and shouted out “I don’t love you Daddy” several times, at the top of his voice.
All those whom I noticed in the winding queue were smiling and laughing at this point, even the child’s mother was laughing (good for her, I say!) because, as parents, we have all been there, and it isn’t easy.
A few moments later the little boy had been picked up by his father, was cuddling the man tightly around his neck and all was calm.
And so why was this episode so special to me?
As I have moved forward in the development of my identity, by accepting and loving what I have previously rejected, I have had to learn not to react in the moment.
The little boy shouted in the heat of his anguish “I don’t love you Daddy” when it was clearly apparent that he most certainly did.
Most of us can empathize with the rawness of a child speaking out his emotions in the moment, but in my case, this continued for many years into adulthood, and this is a source of regret but now also a source of hope as this behaviour improves.
I have had to learn to cope with the discomfort in the moment, and contain within me the urge to scream out my feelings, which may feel real in the moment, but very rarely do after the anger has passed.
It is such a rewarding feeling to manage to stay calm, however much provoked and hurt, so that as soon as the situation improves, the realization that none of the bad stuff came out, is like a tight hug to self around the neck, you could say, it is like a child hugging you after a tantrum!
Oh so good!
My next blog will be: Finding God Within