autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

A spot of new year introspection

(Actually, this was written some time ago, but I forgot to post it.)

It is said that children grow up and become their parents; I do not think this is true. I think, rather, that children grow up and become what they perceive their parents were or were not, depending upon the healthiness of their relationship.

When I think about the parents who abandoned me, when I think about my life in the decades since, I realize that the first half of my life was spent being everything I perceived they were not (at least, to the best of my ability). Later, I began to learn that to truly become myself, I had to shed those defining parameters and give myself room to breathe and be. I have struggled to do so ever since the realization and, through the years, have come to more deeply understand how truly parents affect children.

There are things I will simply never know, just as there are things I know far more intimately than I ever wanted. I both understand my parents and myself in ways that are still as infuriating as they are sorrowful. I no longer wish that past had been different; but I do deeply grieve the fullness of the loss, even as I delight in the richness I’ve discovered under the desiccated skin of experience.

I also see the impact my history has on my children and I grieve that we cannot have the fullness of wisdom and insight until time and thought has worked through the mind. There are things that make my one child and I closer than breath, while it ensures the estrangement of the other; even in the close relation,  there are things that have caused awkwardness and misunderstanding. I know this is normal; I know that no relation is perfect. It is, however, difficult, to see some of the things most beautiful to me remain on the list of lifetime impossibilities.

The hardest part, I think, is that there is no blame or fault in it. There is no “first cause” that makes sense to hold forth because the chain of our present is but a link forged well back into time; it would be arrogance to say this link or that one holds more contributing weight to the one we forge today.

Of all the things most meaningful to me
The pinnacle, serenely unassailable, is your happiness.”

It matters only that those I love are content, happy, and able to live well in themselves. While I am still far too human to say that is the only thought in my head, it is by far the best thought and the one I prefer to give voice.

“I am no less hungry than you;
yes, my mind and heart are tigers that hunt;
there has yet to be a meal as filling
as the one I watch you savor.”